Treatment for Low Sperm CountFertility Treatment
In general, in 50% of infertile couples, the cause of infertility is the male partner. Problems such as low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape, and low sperm motility are the main causes of infertility in men. These problems can easily be diagnosed by semen analysis, also known as sperm count tests and spermogram.
Factors such as anxiety, overweight, and poor diet affect the number and motility of sperm and can lead to infertility. Studies have shown that having a proper and nutrient diet as well as following the essential care tips can minimize sperm disorders. In this article, we introduce some useful and practical techniques for boosting sperm production and eliminating male infertility factors.
Factors Affecting Sperm Quality
Various factors affect male fertility and the quality of sperms, the most important of which include:
About 90% of male infertility problems are due to low sperm count. The minimum sperm count in each ejaculation is about 15 million per milliliter, less of which increases the risk of infertility. In other words, a sperm count of less than 10 million per milliliter is an abnormal condition and may lead to male infertility.
Investigations have revealed that factors that alter the body's testosterone level have the greatest impact on sperm number. Drinking alcohol, taking certain medications, aging, obesity, smoking, etc. have a huge effect on testosterone production. So, by controlling these factors, one can increase the number of sperms in each ejaculation.
Sperms move in the female reproductive system at different speeds. The sperms have to move forward fast enough to reach the fallopian tubes for fertilizing the egg. Low sperm motility is commonly seen in men with low sperm count. To treat this problem, first, the type of sperm movement (either precession or progressive) must be determined, and then, the most suitable treatment should be used.
The natural shape of sperm, i.e., having an oval head and a long tail plays an important role in increasing the chance of fertility. The most important reasons for abnormal sperm morphology include drug addiction, history of infection, varicocele, congenital problems, etc.
Symptoms of Weak Sperm
Men who cannot conceive a child after a year of effort should take fertility tests such as genetic tests, hormonal tests, testicular biopsy, testicular ultrasound, etc. to find the cause of infertility. In the majority of cases, the cause of male infertility is the weakness of the sperms which can be diagnosed by observing some general symptoms such as:
- Low sex drive;
- Erectile dysfunction;
- Pain or swelling in the testicles;
- The emergence of lumps in the testicles;
- Losing hair on the face or body;
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Diluted semen; and
- A small volume of semen.
Moreover, men who have a history of sexual dysfunction, prostate cancer, testicular problems, or have undergone special surgeries on the testicles, penis, or groin, can have weak sperms as well.
Reasons for Low Sperm Count
Although there is no obvious reason for the low sperm count, in most cases, the cause of this problem is one of the following:
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Genetic problems;
- The problem in the genital tract;
- Infection of the genital tract and prostate;
- Previous testicles surgeries;
- Overheating of the testicles;
- Smoking and drinking alcohol;
- Taking certain medications such as testosterone supplements or psoriasis medication;
- Getting kicked in the testicles;
- Rotation of testis;
- Diseases such as diabetes, AIDS, heart attacks, kidney and liver failure, Cushing syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and severe iron deficiency;
- Exposure to toxic substances such as copper, ethylene oxide, cadmium, mercury, vinyl chloride, and radioactive;
- Undescended testicles (cryptorchidism);
- Physical, mental, and emotional stress;
- Being overweight;
- Precocious or late puberty;
- Hernia repair surgery; and
- Air pollution and the presence of toxic substances such as lead in the air.
How to Increase Sperm Count?
To increase the number of sperm and boost male fertility, you have to modify your lifestyle and diet. Factors that affect testosterone level will have the greatest impact on sperm quantity and quality. In general, to increase sperm production and minimize its abnormalities, it is recommended to observe the following care:
Avoid taking hot baths
The ideal temperature for sperm production is about 34.5. Studies show that men who avoid taking hot baths have experienced a 50% increase in sperm production.
Reduce your stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety can highly endanger the body’s immune system and sperm production. When you have mental stress, your body focuses on survival and reduces its attention to other activities such as sperm production.
In addition to all the harm smoking does to the body, it drastically reduces sperm count.
Do not wear tight underwear
The reason that the testicles are placed in sacs outside the body is that they must be at a cooler temperature than body temperature. Wearing tight underwear gets the testicles close to the body and increases their temperature. So, by wearing loose and comfortable underwear, you can increase sperm production.
Limit the use of laptops and cellphones
Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between using a laptop connected to Wi-Fi and the reduction of sperm count. Also, putting the cellphone in the pants’ pocket exposes the testicles to electromagnetic waves and weakens the sperm. Therefore, it is better to reduce the use of electromagnetic devices.
Do pelvic tilting exercises
Pelvic tilting exercises include contracting and releasing the muscles of the lower pelvis. These exercises do not affect the number and quality of sperms but can increase the speed of ejaculation.
Have a proper diet
Having a nutrient diet affects sperm production and its quality. Eating low-fat foods, dishes rich in carbohydrates and protein, vegetables, and whole grains can improve weak sperm and boost sperm production.
Avoid drinking alcohol
Alcohol increases the level of estrogen in the body by affecting the liver. Also, it reduces sexual drive and as a result, reduces the number of sperms.
Take vitamin and dietary supplements
Some supplements contain vitamins and antioxidants such as carnitine, folic acid, arginine, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C, glutathione, coenzyme Q10, I-carnitine, and lycopene can improve the quality and quantity of sperms.
Antioxidants contain minerals and vitamins that prevent damage to the body by inactivating free radicals. Vitamin C can also be found in oranges, berries, potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach. Watermelon and all red fruits and vegetables also contain lycopene and can increase the number of sperms.
Avoid chemical exposure
Some chemicals in the workplace, the air, or even personal care products can be a risk factor for fertility. These chemicals that should be avoided are lead (in pipes, paint, and dust), styrene and acetone (in plastics, packaging materials, and building materials), mercury vapor (in industrial particles and metals), and dibromo chloropropane (in pesticides).
Avoid long-distance cycling
Long-distance cycling reduces the number of normal sperms and thus, reduces male fertility. This is due to an increase in the temperature of the testicles in the tight clothes of the cyclists.
Prevent sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, gonorrhea, chlamydia, testicular infection, prostate gland infection, etc., reduce the quantity and quality of the sperms. To prevent these diseases, you should use standard protections during sexual intercourse and make sure that your partner does not have STDs. It should be noted that there are some tests to diagnose these diseases which must be taken regularly, especially in case of having multiple sex partners.
Medical Treatment for Low-Quality Sperm
- LH and FSH hormones: these hormones stimulate the testicles to produce sperm.
- Gonadotropins (HCG): this drug stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone and sperm.
- Letrozole: it increases sperm production in the body by increasing testosterone.
- Synthetic testosterone: it is used to regulate the body's testosterone level.
- Bromocriptine: it controls testosterone levels by controlling the secretion of the prolactin in the body.
- Antibiotics and antifungal drugs: these drugs are used to treat a variety of genital infections.
- Imipramine: it is prescribed to treat retrograde ejaculation.
- Clomiphene: clomiphene increases sperm count, balances testosterone levels, and increases sperm motility.
- Semenex: having a variety of vitamins (especially vitamin E) and amino acids (such as arginine and L – carnitine), this medicine is one of the best medications for increasing sperm count. The advantage of this drug is that it has the least side effects.
Different Treatments for Low Sperm Count
Treatment for low sperm count depends on the cause of it. For example, antibiotics are used to treat sperm disorders caused by infection and surgery is a good way to treat varicocele. Taking hormonal medications or the use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) are other ways to deal with male infertility caused by weak sperm.
sperm injection (ICSI)
One of the most common fertility treatments is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which a healthy and motile sperm is directly injected into the egg and after fertilization, the resulting embryo is transferred to the mother's uterus.
It is noteworthy that the microinjection (ICSI) method is used when the male partner suffers from azoospermia or the number of sperms in his semen sample is very low. Also, before starting this treatment, sperm disorders along with the possibility of transmitting genetic disorders to the embryo should be examined by the doctor.
Another treatment for low sperm count is the injection of gonadotropin (a hormone that stimulates sperm production). If the hormones are completely balanced or the cause of low sperm count is not identified, this method will not be used.
One of the latest treatments for infertility caused by low sperm count is the use of donated sperm. In this method (IVF), healthy and motile sperm is received from a donor and then, it is directly injected into an egg in the laboratory. After fertilization, the resulting embryo is transferred into the mother’s womb using a narrow tube. It is worth mentioning that the sperm donor should be similar to the infertile couple in terms of appearance and genetic characteristics.
To sum up, low sperm count (oligospermia) is one of the main causes of male infertility in today’s world. Factors such as smoking, varicocele, prostate cancer, taking certain medication, poor diet, and obesity can reduce sperm count. Fortunately, there are various treatments for low sperm count such as ICSI, IVF, sperm donation, and taking hormonal medications.
Iran, as one of the main hubs in fertility treatment, has the best fertility clinics in the world where you can benefit from standard facilities and technologies.
Raadina Co. offers customized and affordable packages of infertility treatment for couples who are willing to receive fertility treatment in Iran. Raadina Team provides you with services such as booking appointments with fertility clinics and specialists, applying for a medical visa, booking a hotel at affordable prices, providing 24/7 support before and during the treatment, and arranging transportation in Iran.
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