Sperm concentration also called sperm count is the sperm cell number per mL of semen fluid. Low sperm concentration – oligospermia may cause male type infertility in some cases. Azoospermia is an another low sperm concentration type and means absence of sperm cells in semen.
Oligospermia means low sperm number per mL of semen than normal values. In normal conditions sperm concentration should be greater than 15 million sperm cells per semen mL ( according to WHO).
Low sperm count decreases pregnancy chance so if you have problem to get pregnant your doctor may request semen analysis test.
Semen analysis test is a type of laboratory test that is done to measure and evaluate sperm cells and semen fluid. Semen analysis also called spermogram evaluates semen volume, sperm count ( sperm concentration), total sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, semen pH, semen appearance and semen WBC count.
Low sperm concentration- oligospermia may be caused by several reasons;
Oligospermia- low sperm count causes
- Varicocele; varicocele veins in the testicles, swelling of the veins in testicles. Varicocele is a common low sperm concentration cause and may be treated by surgery. Varicocele disrupts testicular temperature regulation by blood flow.
- Infections ; some type of STI ( sexually transmitted infections) like gonnorhea may cause oligospermia. Also inflammations and infections in testicles may cause low sperm count like orchitis and epididymitis.
- Tumors may affect reproductive organs and hormone production adn cause oligospermia
- Ejaculation problems caused by tumors, cancer, trauma, surgery, retrograde ejaculation, medications
- Medications like anabolic steroids, chemotherapy, beta blockers, antibiotics, antifungal medicines, blood pressure medicines
- Hormonal problems ; pituitary and hypothalamus are related with sperm production by hormone regulation. Sperm production may decrease by any hormonal imbalance because of these glands
- Undescended testes
- Chromosome problems like Kleinfelter syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Toxins, chemicals and heavy metals
- High temperature in testicles by causes like hot tubs, saunas, tight clothes may cause low sperm count
- Alcohol and drug use
- Ejaculatory duct obstruction