Oligospermia and Fertility: What You Should Know

May 2, 2024
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What is oligospermia?

Oligospermia is a condition characterized by sperm count that is less than the normal number of sperm. A low sperm count can cause infertility and can cause an inability to get and maintain an erection and produce ejaculation at orgasm. So a healthy sperm count is necessary for fertility.

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 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), normal sperm count is recorded as 15 million per millimetre of semen as average. A value of sperm count less than the normal count is considered as oligospermia.

Oligospermia can be mild, moderate or severe depending upon the sperm count.

-   Mild oligospermia is 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.

-   Moderate oligospermia is considered 5 to 10 million sperm/mL.

-   Severe oligospermia is diagnosed when sperm counts fall between 0 and 5 million sperm/mL.

Men who have difficulty in conceiving seek help and can be diagnosed with oligospermia being one of the reasons for their infertility.



Here are the conditions that cause oligospermia –


Varicocele is the enlargement of veins. When enlargement of veins occurs in man’s scrotum, it can disrupt the blood flow to the testicles. This causes the temperature in the testicles to increase, which has a negative impact on sperm production. As a result, the man develops oligospermia. Around 40% of men with varicocele has oligospermia.

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Sexually transmitted infection is said to cause a decrease in sperm count.

Ejaculation issue

There is a certain ejaculation problem that can cause oligospermia. Retrograde ejaculation is one such problem in which the sperm enters the bladder instead of leaving the tip penis. There are other conditions that may interfere with typical ejaculation which include-Injury, tumor, cancer and past surgery.

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There are certain medicines that have an adverse effect on sperm count. Drugs such as beta-blockers, antibiotics and blood pressure medications cause ejaculation problems that lead to low sperm count.

Hormonal imbalance

There are certain hormones produced by rain and testicles that are responsible for ejaculation. Imbalance in those hormones may cause low sperm count.


Increased weight or being overweight increases the risk of oligospermia. Increase in weight leads to hormonal imbalance and causes low sperm count. Heavyweight can directly affect sperm production, hence low sperm count.

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