LOW SPERM COUNT
Low sperm count
Oligospermia or low sperm count refers to semen with low sperm concentration with abnormal sperm morphology. According to WHO, the average sperm count ranges from 15-200 million sperm per millilitre of semen. Lesser than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen or less than 39 million sperm per total ejaculation would be called low sperm count. Oligospermia can be classified into three types- Mild Oligospermia, Moderate Oligospermia, and Severe Oligospermia. Mild Oligospermia refers to a sperm count between 10-15million sperm/millilitre of semen, whereas Moderate and Severe Oligospermia refers to a concentration between 5-10 million and <5 million sperm/millilitre of semen, respectively. Symptoms of a low sperm count include problems in sexual function like erectile dysfunction or low sex drive, pain/swelling/lump in the testicular area, decreased body or facial hair, recurrent respiratory symptoms, and loss of smell.
Low sperm count
Low sperm count may result from medical, environmental, health, and lifestyle-related causes. Medical causes may range from varicocele (swelling of the veins draining the testicles to infections like inflammation of the epididymis/testicles or sexually transmitted infections like HIV or gonorrhoea. There may be ejaculation issues like retrograde ejaculation accelerated by physical conditions like diabetes, prostate, urinary bladder, or urethra surgeries.
Additionally, tumours, undescended testicles, blockage of the tubes transferring the semen with chromosomal anomalies like Kleine Felter’s syndrome, Celiac disease, certain medications, and even prior surgeries can lead to a low sperm count. Environmental factors like industrial chemicals, heavy metals like lead, and radiation exposure, can often cause low sperm count. However, some cases of low sperm count also involve patients spending much time at a desk or working with a laptop for 8-10 hours.
The use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and even obesity can cause a low sperm count in men. Kallman’s Syndrome results in congenital low sperm count owing to poor stimulation by the pituitary hormones. Kallman’s Syndrome occurs due to lower amounts of gonadotropin hormone released from the hypothalamus. It is diagnosed by an MRI or blood test to rule out pituitary tumours and ensure the actual cause. In this regard, your urologist in Dubai may suggest Gonadotropin Replacement Therapy to increase the sperm count.
Low sperm count
During your primary consultation, you will be advised for a sperm sample collection twice within two weeks. To analyze your low sperm count, you will be advised to abstain from ejaculation or use any lubricants during these two weeks, as they can affect your sperm motility. Post-sample collection, doctors will do a semen analysis by examining the semen under a microscope to evaluate the count, motility, and morphology of your sperm.
To correctly evaluate the low sperm count, you may also be advised for a scrotal ultrasound that uses high-frequency waves to evaluate the testicles and other supporting structures or for hormone testing to evaluate the hormones produced by the pituitary glands testicles through a blood test. Secondary diagnostic procedures like genetic tests, anti-sperm antibody tests, and testicular biopsy rule out any pathway blockage. Post-ejaculation urinalysis could also be done as a tertiary test to rule out retrograde ejaculation. Any reputed clinic in Dubai like Bizrahmed would have modalities to easily conduct all these tests.
Low Sperm Count
Treatments for a low sperm count include medical and nonmedical ways of dealing with the issue. Surgery can correct a varicocele or clear an obstructed pathway other than reversing vasectomies and retrieving sperm directly from the testicles using sperm retrieval techniques. Surgical methods like Microsurgical Vadovasotomy for reversing the Vasectomy, Vasoepidydymostomy for treating epididymal blocks, and TURED. (Transurethral Resection of the Ejaculatory Duct) Ejaculatory Duct obstruction is expected in Dubai. Antibiotics and hormonal treatments can help treat infections and hormonal issues leading to low sperm count.
Medication or counselling can help deal with erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation can be cured by over-the-counter medications like Sudafed or other prescription medications, as the urologist advises. Estrogen Receptor Blockers like Clomiphene Citrate work best to stimulate the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary glands to generate hormonal production and release FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) to curb low sperm count. Medications like Anastrozole and Coenzyme Q10 can also effectively improve the count. Unconventional medical methods like taking D.-aspartic acid tablets can boost the testosterone and sperm count to 60%. Researchers have suggested that Vitamin C supplements rich in antioxidants can boost sperm count and reduce oxidative stress, a risk factor in lowering sperm count.
Vitamin D and its supplements also play a significant role in increasing testosterone levels and improving sperm count. If you’ve been looking for a consultation with an expert urologist in Dubai, Bizrahmed would be your ideal bet. An unhealthy lifestyle coupled with obesity, alcoholism, tobacco intake, insufficient sleep, and an unhealthy diet are often the triggering factors for low sperm count. Considering and working on them can significantly improve sperm count and reduce the risk of other medical issues. Nutrient foods like Eggs, walnuts, Bananas, and zinc-rich foods like beans and red meat can help improve sperm count. But they are only supplements. As advised by the urologist, the prescribed mode of treatment has to be followed for an improved result.
Sperm disorders like Oligospermia (very low sperm count) or Azoospermia (no sperm count), medical disorders like varicocele, retrograde ejaculation, obstruction in the path of the sperm, and hormonal disorders may result in low sperm count in men.
Normal sperm count ranges from 15million to 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Lesser than 15 million sperm/milliliter of semen or lesser than 39 million sperm/ milliliter of semen total per ejaculate counts as low sperm count and needs medical consultation and intervention.
You can improve your sperm count by exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding stress, and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco use. But these are only supplements. A urologist’s advice and treatment modality are primary to curb low sperm count effectively.
Foods like spinach, asparagus, eggs, bananas, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are sperm count boosters. Also, pomegranate and lemon juices are beneficial for sperm. On the other hand, foods like high-fat dairy products, soy products, processed meats, along pesticide-tainted fruits and vegetables are potential sperm killers and should be avoided at all costs.
Semen is usually a thick whitish liquid and a sign of healthy sperm. Changes in the color and consistency of semen can be an indication of abnormal sperm count. Watery semen indicates that a person engages in sexual activity multiple times a day or has low semen quality with reduced sperm count.
A urologist can surgically correct the disorders causing low sperm count, like treating varicocele with varicocelectomy, ejaculatory duct obstruction by TURED surgery, and performing reverse Vasectomy surgeries.
Some insurance companies in Dubai cover the functional issues causing low sperm counts like varicocele, hormonal changes, infection, tumors, ejaculation issues, prior surgeries, and surgical procedures. But that’s completely case-specific, and it is not certain that your Dubai insurance company would cover it.
Masturbation leads to ejaculation, and though do not cause any long-term effects, it temporarily reduces sperm count as you release semen containing sperm every time you ejaculate. Healthy masturbation will not affect sperm count. But unhealthy masturbation multiple times a day will affect the sperm count.