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Oligospermia / Oligozoospermia (Low Sperm Count)

Oligospermia, also known as oligozoospermia, is a condition characterized by a low sperm count in semen. It is diagnosed when the number of spermatozoa in the ejaculate is below the reference values established by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is typically less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Oligospermia is a common cause of male infertility. Here are some key points about oligospermia:

Causes: Oligospermia can result from various factors, including:

  1. Hormonal imbalances: Deficiencies in hormones such as testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), or luteinizing hormone (LH) can affect sperm production.
  2. Varicocele: A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, which can disrupt normal testicular temperature regulation and impair sperm production.
  3. Genetic factors: Some genetic abnormalities, such as chromosomal disorders (e.g., Klinefelter syndrome), can lead to oligospermia.
  4. Infections: Certain infections, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or reproductive system infections, can damage the reproductive organs and reduce sperm count.
  5. Testicular factors: Conditions affecting the testicles, such as trauma, prior surgeries, or undescended testicles, can impact sperm production.
  6. Lifestyle factors: Poor lifestyle choices, including excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, obesity, exposure to environmental toxins, and certain medications, can contribute to reduced sperm count.

Diagnosis: Oligospermia is typically diagnosed through a semen analysis, which evaluates the quality and quantity of sperm in the ejaculate. A thorough medical history, physical examination, and additional tests may be conducted to identify any underlying causes.

Treatment: The treatment of oligospermia depends on the underlying cause and may include:

  1. Lifestyle modifications: Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress, can improve sperm count.
  2. Medications: In some cases, hormonal therapy may be prescribed to address hormonal imbalances and stimulate sperm production.
  3. Surgery: Surgical interventions, such as varicocele repair or correction of obstructive issues, may be recommended to improve sperm count.
  4. Assisted reproductive techniques: In cases where natural conception is challenging, assisted reproductive techniques like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be considered to achieve pregnancy.

It is important to note that the treatment outcomes for oligospermia vary depending on the individual’s specific situation and the underlying cause. Consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a urologist or reproductive endocrinologist, is crucial for proper diagnosis, evaluation, and guidance on available treatment options.

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