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Low Sperm Count

The terms oligospermia, oligozoospermia, and low sperm count refer to semen you ejaculate with a low concentration of sperm and is a common finding in male infertility.  Often semen with a decreased sperm concentration may also show significant abnormalities in sperm morphology and motility(technically oligoasthenoteratozoospermia)

The diagnosis of oligozoospermia is based on one low count in a semen analysis performed on two occasions.  For many decades sperm concentrations of less than 20 million sperms/ml were considered low or oligozoospermic, recently, however, the WHO reassessed sperm criteria and established a lower reference point, less than 15 million sperm/ml, consistent with the 5th percentile for fertile men.

Sources usually classify oligospermia in 3 classes:

  • Mild: concentrations 10 million – 15 million sperms/mL
  • Moderate: concentrations 5 million – 10 million sperms/mL
  • Severe: concentrations less than 5 million sperms/mL



Many men who have low sperm count are still able to father a child.

  1. The main symptom of low sperm count is the inability to conceive a child.
  2. Other Symptoms will, problems with sexual function – for example low sex drive, or difficulty in maintaining erection (erectile dysfunction).
  3. Pain, lump, swelling in the testicular area.
  4. Decreased body hair, facial hair,  small penis(due to hormonal imbalance and chromosomal abnormally.
When to see a Doctor

See a specialist doctor, if you have been unable to conceive a child after a year of regular unprotected intercourse or sooner if you have any of the following.

Treatment for low sperm count, may includes medical, surgical and ART

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