A low sperm count can be caused by a variety of things. It can be something as simple as wearing tight-fitting clothing that causes extra heat on the testicles, which inhibits sperm production. It could be a result of exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, or arsenic. Even pesticides and other chemicals may very often contribute to a man having a low sperm count. Some evidence suggests that low levels of the mineral Zinc may even cause a man to have a low sperm count. Smoking and excessive alcohol use, in addition to the many other health difficulties that they can cause, may also cause a low sperm count.
A lab test can determine whether you have a low sperm count. Your health care provider will need a sample of your semen, which you may be able to provide in the office, or which you may be able to bring back at another time. The semen is then analyzed, not only for signs of a low sperm count, but also for the motility of your sperm, and whether or not your sperm are abnormal in terms of their shape. If your sperm are not moving forward, or if a high percentage of them are not moving forward, your sperm motility is low. If you have abnormal sperm, you will also very likely experience difficulty with trying to conceive.
Causes of Low Sperm Count
The leading cause of male infertility is low sperm count. Others may be low sperm motility, bad quality sperm, lack of semen. In general, most cases of male infertility are due to low sperm count. There are many biologic and environmental factors that can lead to low sperm count. Here is a list if conditions that may cause low sperm count in men.
Treatment for Low Sperm Count
Many infertile men are obsessed about their sperm ( Sperm Video ) count - and this seems to become the central concern in their lives. Remember that the real question the man with a fertility problem is asking is not: What is my sperm count or motility or whatever? But - are my sperm capable of working or not? Can I have a baby with my sperm? Since the function of the sperm is to fertilize the egg, the only direct way of answering this question is by actually doing IVF for test fertilization. This is, of course, too expensive and impractical for most people which is why the other sperm function tests have been devised.
The major problem with all these tests, however, is that they are all indirect --- there is no very good correlation between test results, pregnancy rates, and fertilization in vitro for the individual patient. This is why offering a prognosis for the individual patient based on an abnormality in the sperm test result is so difficult, and why we find that different doctors give such widely varying interpretations based on the same sperm report.
This is really not surprising when you consider how abysmal our ignorance in this area is - after all, we do not even know what a "normal" sperm count is! Since you only need one "good" sperm to fertilise an egg, we do not have a simple answer to even this very basic question! While the lower limit of normal is considered to be 10 million progressively motile sperm per ml, remember that this is a statistical average. For example, most doctors have had the experience of a man with a very low sperm count (as little as 2-5 million per ml) fathering a pregnancy on his own, with no treatment. In fact, when sperm ( Sperm Video ) counts are done for men who are undergoing a vasectomy for family planning, these men of proven fertility have sperm counts varying anywhere from 2 million to 300 million per ml. This obviously means that there is a significant variation in "fertile" sperm counts, and therefore coming to conclusions is very difficult for the doctor (leave alone the patient!)
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Lifestyle Changes To Improve Low Sperm Count
Get regular exercise: While you should avoid vigorous training programs, regular and moderate exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight, helps control stress, and gives you a healthier overall body.
Perform relaxation exercises: Since infertility and life in general can be stressful, learn to relax. Stress is sometimes responsible for certain infertility problems such as hormonal problems.
Maintain a healthy weight: Not too under or overweight since weight influences estrogen and testosterone levels.
Watch your body temperature: Avoid vigorous exercise, hot tubs, and saunas since they raise the body temperature and may cause changes in ovulation and reduced sperm count.
Check for exposure to heavy metals: Heavy metal toxins may affect ovulation. A hair analysis can determine exposure.
Take age into consideration: A man’s fertility begins to decrease after he is thirty so take this into consideration when deciding when to have children.
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