A Male’s reproductive system produces minute complete cells called sperms. Sperms are the responsible factor for the fertilization of the ovum inside the female body and development into pregnancy. During intercourse, the male ejaculates semen, which contains sperm. Sperms are the tiny structure that can swim rapidly and gets fused with ova resulting in fertilization. Quality and quantity of sperm play a major role to decide male fertility. If the sperm count is normal, the male is considered to be fertile. But sometimes males also face infertile conditions due to low or nil sperm count.
The condition of low sperm count is termed oligospermia and nil sperm count is termed azoospermia. Oligospermia does not state that the male is completely infertile.
There is no visible symptom of oligospermia or azoospermia because it can’t be predicted by just looking at the semen.
Low sperm count may show the following symptoms:
If you face any of the above-mentioned problems, immediately get in touch with a physician or specialist.
For a male, there could be several reasons for oligospermia or azoospermia such as inherited chromosomal abnormality, blockage in the path of sperm, dilated testicular veins, and even hormonal imbalance. A complete analysis of semen is required to extract the number of sperm cells.
Low or nil sperm count remains unidentified until a couple is trying for pregnancy and they are failed even after multiple attempts. If a couple is unable to conceive, they should seek consultancy with a gynaecologist (female specialist doctor) as well as a urologist (male specialist doctor).
Sperm production is a complex process, which takes place via the synchronized functioning of the testicles and hypothalamus along with pituitary glands.
Hypothalamus and pituitary glands release hormones that trigger the production of sperm. The testicles produce sperms and eventually, sperms get mixed with semen which travels outside of the male body via the penis. Any problem in the entire route or even in the morphology of sperm can cause infertility. Let's discuss the potential reasons for oligospermia or azoospermia.
Exposure to radiation or harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, benzene, toluene, lead, etc. may contribute to low/ nil sperm count.
If your sperm count is very low, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be a better option.
Varicoceles cause inflammation and swelling in the testicle veins. This condition reduces the quality of sperm. Although the exact reason for infertility due to varicoceles is unknown.
Retrograde ejaculation is a major reason for male infertility. Retrograde ejaculation is the condition when semen travels inside the body instead of coming out via the penis. Semen flows into the bladder during orgasm. Sometimes males also deal with ejaculatory problems because of some medications.
Any kind of infection in the male reproductive parts can contribute to a low or nil sperm count. Some sexually transmitted infections can cause permanent damage to testicles hence barring sperm production.
Hormonal balance is mandatory for the production of sperm, improper hormonal release can disturb sperm production.
Defects or blockages in the tubules which carry sperm to get mixed with semen can cause nil or low sperm count.
Some major or minor surgeries such as vasectomy or some reproductive parts surgeries can block sperm production or its mixing with semen.
Low sperm count is not untreatable. Counselling and several tests are performed to dig out the reason for male infertility. Nowadays multiple techniques and treatment procedures are available to overcome the problem.
TESA is performed on the males who have opted for IVF (in vitro fertilisation) or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) to extract sperms directly from the testicles. To perform TESA local anaesthesia is given to the male. A sharp needle is directly inserted into the testicles to retrieve sperms. TESA is performed alongside egg retrieval from the female. TESA is suitable in the case of oligospermic males.
Microdissection testicular sperm extraction is medically known as micro TESE. The TESE procedure involves minutely slitting the testicles and observation to find out the presence of sperm. TESE is a minor surgical procedure performed in an operating room by giving local anesthesia with the help of an operating microscope. Azoospermia or oligospermia is treatable with this procedure. Micro TESE is often clubbed with IVF/ICSI. For cryopreservation of sperms, Micro TESE is also performed. Micro TESE shows a significantly higher success rate in sperm retrieval.
ACPR refers to autologous conditioned plasma rejuvenation therapy. This therapy is performed to induce spermatogenesis. Spermatogenesis is a natural process of sperm production. Sperms further activate and make pregnancy possible. Infertile males dealing with low sperm concentration problems can be treated with this technology. Although testicular ACPR is still experimental it has shown an almost 50% success rate.
MACS is an immunomagnetic reproductive assessment technology. This technique is used to segregate apoptotic spermatozoa from non-apoptotic spermatozoa. The cells which do not show the sign of damage or death keep their DNA intact. Sperm quality plays a crucial role in the fertilization of ova to develop into a pregnancy. Apoptotic cells segregated via MACS are sorted out and the remaining seminal cells are used in IVF to achieve fertilization.
Pentoxifylline is a drug composition used for the treatment of sperm motility. In IVF sperms are treated with pentoxifylline and it was observed that sperm became more motile. Even the oligospermia males were provided with this in the form of a tablet, after 3 months course it was observed that the motility of their sperms was improved. Although it is noticeable that this drug helps with sperm motility but not with sperm concentration increment.
SpermMobil is a serum that contains some components specifically theophylline, which provides a medium for the acceleration of potentially immotile sperms. These mediums aids the motility of sperms which are healthy and potentially fertile but somehow less motile. SpermMobil supports identifying viable sperms subject to be used for ICSI or IVF treatment.
Qualis is a microfluidic sperm sorter and is a modern technology used for the separation of functional spermatozoa from semen. Such spermatozoa contain good DNA capable to fertilize an oocyte. This technology is a boon for infertile males. In this method, a narrow stream fluid chamber is prepared and sperms are made to move in the microfluid. Rapidly motile healthy sperms cross the chambers fast and they are collected in a separate chamber. These sperms are used in IVF technology.
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Oligospermia or azoospermia are the main reasons for infertility in a male. The presence of sperm in the ejaculated semen is a decisive factor in the pregnancy. These conditions can occur due to medical, environmental, or even lifestyle reasons. Get in touch with the medical practitioner to overcome all the possible reasons. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, and remain untouched by alcohol, drugs, etc.
Low sperm count in men may be caused by several factors including stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, exposure to environmental toxins, certain medications, hormonal imbalances, and genetic disorders.
There are many ways to boost your sperm count naturally. Some of these include eating foods rich in zinc, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, iron, calcium, and protein. Other natural methods include taking a multivitamin supplement, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and stress, and getting enough sleep.
We, at India IVF, is there to help you on your fertility journey. India IVF not only provides treatment options for male infertility as well- TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration), Micro TESE, Testicular ACPR, MACS, Pentoxifylline, SpermMobil & Qualis.
At India IVF Clinics we provide the most comprehensive range of services to cover all the requirements at a Fertility clinic including in-house lab, consultations & treatments.