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Oligospermia: types, causes and treatments

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Oligospermia refers to an abnormally low concentration of sperm in ejaculated semen, which undoubtedly can be a fertility problem or hinder the conception of pregnancy naturally. According to the World Health Organization, a man is considered to have Oligospermia when the semen concentration is 15 million sperm per milliliter, representing a vital deficiency that makes fertilization of the ovum difficult, which is why this condition is considered to be a cause of male infertility.

If this condition is diagnosed early, it can be successfully treated and caused by many factors such as medications, hormonal problems, lifestyle, and some diseases. It is considered that a man can have infertility problems when, after a year of having sex without any contraceptive method and regularly, the completely healthy woman cannot get pregnant. This article will talk about Oligospermia: types, causes, and treatment.

The Oligospermia

A man with Oligospermia is not considered a sterile man since his body does produce sperm. The problem is that it does not make enough. For this reason, it is believed that Oligospermia is a type of male infertility because the ejaculated semen has a concentration of less than 15 million sperm per milliliter, and the process by that the sperm fertilizes the ovum is difficult.

How common is male infertility?

Among men of reproductive age, it is considered that 18% have infertility problems, to the point that in 50% of the occasions that a couple cannot conceive a pregnancy naturally, it is because the man has some infertility.

Most men who suffer from this disorder find out when they try to get their partner pregnant since this condition does not generate any symptoms that can alert them to the low production of sperm.

Diagnosis of Oligospermia

To diagnose Oligospermia, the man must undergo two medical tests:


To diagnose whether the cause of male infertility is Oligospermia, the man must undergo this sperm test. He must present to a fertility laboratory a sample of ejaculated semen, which will be examined in its composition delivered. As a result, a total sperm count and a sperm count per milliliters of ejaculated semen.

The man must maintain sexual abstinence for five days to perform this test. Once you are ready to perform the test, you will need to masturbate, collect the ejaculation in a sampler, and deliver it to the laboratory. In this test, in addition to the amount of sperm, the volume, appearance, and color of the semen can also be studied, as well as the speed, mobility, vitality, and morphology of the sperm.

Blood test

It is also necessary to perform hormonal tests to know the values ​​of FSH, LH, testosterone, and prolactin to rule out the existence of any hormonal problem that may be interfering with male fertility.

Types of Oligospermia

Depending on the concentration of sperm found in the ejaculated sperm for the monogram, Oligospermia can be classified into three types:

Oligospermia leve

It is the less extreme version of this condition. Men with mild Oligospermia have a sperm concentration between 14 and 5 million per milliliter.

moderate Oligospermia

Moderate Oligospermia is indicated when the man has between 5 million and 1 million sperm in each milliliter of ejaculated semen. In mild and moderate Oligospermia, specialists suggest a treatment to increase sperm production and repeat the semen analysis after a few months.

Oligospermia severa

Oligospermia is considered much more chronic when the man has a concentration of less than 1 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculated semen. This type of Oligospermia has the worst prognosis, so men with this condition tend to become fathers through assisted reproduction.

Causes of Oligospermia

Pretesticular causes

Oligospermia appears due to an indirect problem with sperm production, such as the amount of prolactin hormone secreted by the pituitary. Diet, tobacco, lifestyle, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can also cause alterations in the organism and become a testicular cause of Oligospermia.

testicular causes

They are those conditions that are directly related to the testicles and compromise their functioning, including the production of sperm. Trauma to the genitals or some inherited genetic disorder such as microdeletions in the Y chromosome can be part of the testicular causes of Oligospermia. However, the most common causes of this type are:

  • Varicocele: it is a swelling of the veins within the scrotum, which are found along the spermatic cord responsible for supporting the testicles. This swelling prevents proper blood circulation, which causes blood to pool and the vein to dilate. Varicocele is very similar to varicose veins in the legs and is common in men between 15 and 25. As its progress is progressive, early diagnosis can prevent male infertility. In this article, we explain more extensively if varicocele affects male fertility.
  • Hydrocele: is the formation of a fluid-filled sac in the scrotum, which can be caused at birth in newborn babies, or by an inguinal hernia in adults.
  • Teratozoospermia: occurs when sperm, in addition to being scarce in the ejaculated semen, present problems in their morphology, which makes regular fertilization difficult and is related to a poor prognosis for the development of the embryo.
  • Asthenozoospermia: it is the alteration of the semen that causes the sperm not to be able to move quickly and therefore cannot fertilize the ovum.

Causas post-testiculares

They are those conditions that prevent the proper circulation of sperm due to an obstruction that prevents ejaculation from being successful. In these cases, the sperm count is average; the problem is that they find impediments to exit. Blockage of the ducts or inflammation in the urethra can prevent the expulsion of semen.

Treatment of Oligospermia

Treatment for this condition will depend on its cause. Still, as in most cases, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of Oligospermia; it is also challenging to find the precise treatment. However, in this FastlyHealarticle, we explain which are the most common therapies used to cure Oligospermia:

  • Hormone therapy. When oligospermia is accompanied by a disorder in producing hormones such as testosterone or prolactin, it is necessary to balance these levels so that the testes can normalize their sperm production.
  • Special multivitamins. In some instances, a deficiency of vitamins, iron, or minerals can worsen Oligospermia. It is essential to balance man’s nutrition with multivitamins and antioxidants that affect the fragmentation of the DNA of sperm to improve its quality, but not its production.
  • Medications . There are particular medicines on the market that help increase the production of sperm in the testicles.
  • When the cause of Oligospermia is post-testicular, the problem that prevents sperm from flowing correctly through the ducts through successful ejaculation must be resolved. Sometimes surgical intervention may be necessary.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Oligospermia: types, causes, and treatments, we recommend that you enter our category of Male reproductive system .

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