Treatments for Men With Low Sperm Count

January 11, 2023
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When a couple has trouble getting pregnant despite trying for a few months or a year, a fertility specialist will check both partners to identify the problem. For men, the doctor will check the sperm count and sperm health to ensure there is no problem. Low sperm count can interfere with pregnancy attempts.

What is Low Sperm Count?

Also known as oligospermia, low sperm count is not something rare. It is the most common reason for male infertility. When  Sperm count in semen analysis is  below 16million per mL, it is known as a low sperm count (Oligo zoo sperm ia)

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What Causes Low Sperm Count?

Causes of  low sperm count could be

a. Infection

b. Trauma to testis

c. obesity

d. chronic illness and medications

e. Habits like smoking and drugs

f. Genetics

g. Unknown(Idiopathic)

The lower the sperm count, the lesser the chances of pregnancy. Some men can successfully father children despite their low sperm count, but this is not very common.

Low Sperm Count Diagnosis

So, how can one determine whether their sperm count is low or below normal levels?

Patient is advised to get a semen analysis after 3-5 days of abstinence at andrology lab to know the sperm count.

When the doctor suspects low sperm count, they will ask for the following tests to know the cause :

1.    Ultrasound of the Scrotum

High-frequency waves are used to check the testicles and other parts around.

2.    Transrectal Ultrasound

In this test, a small-lubricated wand is inserted through the rectum to analyse the prostrate and rule out any blocks in the tubes that carry the semen during ejaculation.

3.    Hormones Test

A blood test to check the levels of various hormones that could affect the development and production of sperm.

4.    Analysis of Urine Post-Ejaculation

The urine will be tested for sperm. Finding sperms in the urine post-ejaculation can indicate a backward movement of the sperms, instead of moving forward through the penis during ejaculation.

5.    Genetic Tests

A man’s sperm count can be affected by his genes. Genetic testing can identify any abnormalities with the chromosomes or identify other underlying issues that could be affecting sperm production.

6.    Biopsy of Testicles

In this test, a small sample is collected from the testicles to analyse if sperm production is normal. If it is normal, it can indicate a blockage in the tubes.

7.    Anti-Sperm Antibody Tests

A test to check for antibodies that might be attacking the sperm and making them weak.

8.    Specialized Sperm Function Tests

These test will check how well the sperm survives post-ejaculation, how strong they are and how well they can attach to an egg. Such tests are very rare and do not have much of an implication on treatment recommendations.

Low Sperm Count Treatment

Today, with the advancement of science and technology, an oligo sperm treatment can help increase sperm count in men. Treatment advised depends on sperm count . Some of the low sperm count treatment options one can opt for are:

1.    IUI

when sperm count is more than 8-10million /ml and at least 20%of sperms are motile UI treatment can be done .

2.    IVF With ICSI

when sperm count is less than 5-8 million/ml IVF/ICSI is the treatment option given. In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most common fertility treatment for couples facing difficulty in conceiving. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection(ICSI) is a procedure where the doctor will collect the sperm and cleanse it to isolate the strong and healthy sperm. From these isolated sperm, a single sperm is injected into the egg. After successful fertilization, the embryo is transferred in to the uterus.

This is the most commonly used method when the sperm count is low. This increases the chance of pregnancy using the male’s sperm without any additional treatments or surgery.

3.    Surgery

In case of varicocele or a block in the tubes carrying the sperm during ejaculation, surgery can help remove the blockage.

4.    Antibiotics

In case of infections in the urinary tract or other infections that may be affecting the sperm count, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to cure them. Once the infection is cured, the semen will be analysed again to check the sperm count. If the count is still low, the doctor will opt for other treatment options.

5.    Hormonal Treatment

If the production of pituitary hormone is low, it can harm sperm count. In such cases, hormonal injections are given just like in female hormonal therapy. Pergonal or Humagon hormones can be injected depending on the requirement.

6.    Donor Sperm

If nothing works and if the sperm count continues to be nil or very low despite medications, treatments or lifestyle changes, the couple can use donor sperm. The donor sperm can be used to fertilise the egg either through artificial insemination or IVF.

Natural Remedies to Improve Sperm Count

If you are looking for the best medicine for sperm count, unfortunately, there is no readymade sperm count medicine or drugs for low sperm count. Apart from the medical treatments mentioned earlier, a few lifestyle changes can help combat low sperm count in men.

If you want an effective medicine for low sperm count, try making these changes:

1.    Improve Health

Better health will lead to better sperm health and count. Losing excess weight through good exercise and a healthy diet can have a positive impact on your sperm count.

2.    Improve Sleep

Good quality sleep also improves sperm count. Make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can lead to many health issues, which in turn can affect your sperm health and count too.

3.    Avoid Smoking

Smoking can reduce sperm count. Reduce and eventually quit smoking if you want to increase your sperm count.

4.    Quit Alcohol & Drugs

Excessive exposure to alcohol and drugs also causes low sperm count. Though there is not sufficient research on this front, it is safer to reduce exposure.

5.    Check Your Medicines

Certain prescription drugs can affect sperm count in men. If you are finding it difficult to impregnate your partner, you may want to consult your fertility specialist regarding the drugs you take.

6.    Improve Diet

Include fertility-improving foods like fenugreek, ash wag and ha etc. and increase your intake of vitamin D and antioxidant-rich food items. Even if these cannot directly improve your sperm count, they can improve your overall health, which in turn can positively influence your sperm count.

7.    Reduce Exposure

Exposure to radiation and certain other chemicals and environmental hazards can reduce your sperm count.

Must Read :
Male Infertility: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments


Low sperm count may not be discovered until a couple tries to conceive, but can low sperm count be cured? Sometimes simple changes can help improve the sperm count while sometimes, you need a good fertility specialist and a well-equipped state-of-the-art facility to help you improve the sperm count and result in a successful pregnancy.

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