The most prominent symptom of sperm deficiency is that the person is unable to have children. There are no other obvious signs or symptoms of this problem.
In some cases, some other problems are due to sperm deficiency such as hereditary imbalance in hormones, enlarged testicular veins and conditions that obstruct the sperm passage. Often, with decreased sperm, symptoms of these problems are also seen such as –
- Sexual problems – loss of libido or difficulty in maintaining tension in the penis (erectile dysfunction or impotence)
- Pain, swelling or lumps in the testicular area
- Reduced facial or body hair or other signs of chromosome or hormone abnormality
It is necessary to see a doctor in these situations –
See a doctor if you are unable to conceive your sex partner even after a year of regular and uninterrupted sexual intercourse and if you have any of these problems, consult your Dr. Kaushiki, best IVF Doctor in Gurgaon as soon as possible –
- Problems related to sexual health, such as lack of tension in the penis, premature ejaculation, incident of interest in sex or other problems related to sexual activity.
- Pain, discomfort in the testicular area, lumps or swelling.
- If you have ever had testicular, prostate or sexual problems before.
- There has been surgery on the groin (part of the abdomen and thigh), testis, penis or testicles.
Low Sperm Count Causes
1. Medical reasons
Many health problems and medical treatment can cause sperm loss. Some of these are as follows –
- Varicocele – Inflammation of the veins from the testes is called varicocele. This is a common reason for men not to become fathers.
- Infections – Some infections affect the production and health of sperm, such as certain sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, etc.) and other urinary tract infections.
- Ejaculation problems – If a person has problems with ejaculation, then his sperm count may be reduced.
- Anti-sperm antibodies – Antibodies that damage sperm are cells produced by your immune system that attempt to destroy sperm by deleting them as harmful to the body.
- Tumours – Cancer and non-malignant tumours (i.e. tumours that do not contain cancer) can directly or indirectly damage the reproductive organs of men by affecting other glands.
- Some medicines – testosterone replacement therapy, cancer treatment (chemotherapy) and some other drugs can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility.
- Secretory testes – During embryonic development, one or both testes sometimes fail to move from the abdomen to the testicles.
- Hormone imbalance
- Defect in sperm duct
- Chromosome defect
- Celiac disease
2. Environmental reasons
Excessive exposure to certain environmental elements can affect sperm production or functionality. The main reasons for this are –
- Exposure to heavy metals – Prolonged exposure to lead or other heavy metals can also damage male fertility.
- Radiation or X-ray – radiation can decrease sperm production.
- Exacerbation of testes – Regular use of a hot tub can temporarily decrease your sperm count.
- Cycling for a long time – Cycling for a long time causes your testes to overheat. This is another possible reason to reduce your fertility.
3. Reasons associated with health and lifestyle
Other reasons for sperm deficiency include –
- Illegal drug use – Consumption of drugs such as cocaine or cannabis can decrease your sperm count and quality.
- Alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol can reduce testosterone levels and decrease sperm production.
- Smoking – Men who smoke may have a lower sperm count than other individuals. (Read more – Simple ways to quit smoking)
- Stress – Due to prolonged stress, some essential hormones that produce sperm may become imbalanced.
- Weight – Obesity can cause hormonal changes, which can result in poor fertility of men.
When is the risk of sperm deficiency more likely?
Risk factors associated with sperm production and other problems are:
- Eating or smoking tobacco
- Drinking alcohol
- Taking drugs
- Being overweight
- Any infection in the past or present
- Exposure to toxins
- Testis overheating
- Sterilization or sterilization to regain fertility
- Being born with a reproductive disorder or being a close relative of a person suffering from this disorder
- Certain medical conditions such as tumours or chronic diseases
- Undergoing surgery for cancer such as surgery or radiation
- Some medicines may also increase the risk of sperm deficiency
- Performing a task for long periods of time, such as riding a bad seat or riding a horse
Prevention Of Sperm Deficiency
The following factors can affect sperm count and quality, so stay away from them.
- Do not smoke
- Drink limited amounts of alcohol or stop it altogether
- Abstain from drugs
- Talk to your doctor about drugs that may affect the production of sperm.
- Lose weight
- Stay away from stress
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins
Treatment Of Sperm Deficiency
Treatment of sperm deficiency includes –
Surgery – Inflammation of the veins originating from the testes can be corrected by surgery or if there is a blockage in a sperm vasculature (vas deferens tube), it can also be corrected by surgery.
Infection treatment – Antibiotics can treat infections in the reproductive organs, but these drugs may be unable to increase fertility.
Hormone treatment and medicines – “Hormone replacement” (changing hormones) or certain drugs can be used to change hormone levels. After three to six months its effects can be seen in your semen analysis.
Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) – The treatment of ART involves the collection of sperm ejected by normal ejaculation, by surgery, or given by a donor. This sperm is then inserted into the female’s genitalia or used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
Is there any medicine available to increase sperm count?
There is no medicine available that increases sperm count by eating it.
Yet some doctors suggest antioxidants, herbal medicines and vitamin pills under “empiric treatment” (an undetectable treatment). However, there is no scientific evidence that this treatment will increase sperm count. If sperm count increases during this treatment, it may be due to many other reasons rather than medication. Sperm count fluctuates depending on lifestyle, but the increase in sperm count for a short period of time does not mean that the problem is fixed.
Men should remember that high sperm count is not as important as whether sperm are capable of conceiving.
Effective treatments such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) can be performed instead of using the above non-standard drugs.