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Oligospermia: Meaning, Causes, Treatment & More

Facing low sperm count problems? Here is everything you need to know about the low sperm count or Oligospermia, its causes, symptoms and treatments.

6 min read
Oligospermia: Meaning, Causes, Treatment & More

The amount of sperm ejaculated can vary throughout your life. Studies suggest that the sperm count of a fertilized man should be somewhere between 15 million and more than 200 million per millilitre of semen. However, if the sperm count is anything less than 15 million sperm, it is considered oligospermia or a low sperm count.

What is Oligospermia?

According to studies, Oligospermia is one of the male fertility issues associated with low sperm count in semen and an issue with sperm production or sperm health. Some of the common aspects associated with this male sexual health condition are the inability to obtain and maintain an erection and produce ejaculation at orgasm.

Oligospermia is classified into three categories, as mentioned below:

  • Mild oligospermia, where the sperm count is medium, is around 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.
  • Moderate oligospermia is diagnosed when the sperm count goes down between 5 and 10 million sperm/mL.
  • Severe oligospermia is diagnosed when the sperm count ranges between 0 and 5 million sperm/mL.

Although having oligospermia reduces the chances of sperm detecting and fertilizing an egg, it does not completely eliminate the possibility of a natural pregnancy. The sperm count in your sperm is one of the many factors determining whether you and your partner can conceive a child.

Oligospermia Meaning in Different Languages

1. Oligospermia Meaning in Telugu

In Telugu, Oligospermia means Alpashukraanuta.

2. Oligospermia Meaning in Urdu

In Urdu, Oligospermia means insufficient Spar Metazowa.

3. Oligospermia Meaning in Kannada

In Kannada, Oligospermia means Alpashukraanuta.

4. Oligospermia Meaning in Bengali

In Bengali, Oligospermia means Alpashukraanuta.

5. Oligospermia Meaning in Marathi

In Marathi, Oligospermia means a decrease in Sukranunci Sankhya.

6. Oligospermia Meaning in Hindi

In Hindi, Oligospermia means Alpashukraanuta.

Difference Between Oligospermia and Azoospermia?

Studies suggest that low or no sperm count is one of the important factors determining infertility in couples. Both the conditions are related to male fertility. Oligospermia means you have a limited amount of sperm count that is comparatively lower than the normal numbers of 15 million/mL.

In contrast, Azoospermia means that no sperm count is detected in your semen. There are three types of azoospermia:

  • Pre-testicular Azoospermia: This condition is caused by the damaged production of hormones responsible for creating your sperm.
  • Azoospermia of the Testicles: This condition is caused by any kind of abnormality in the functioning of the testicular structure.
  • Post-testicular Azoospermia is caused by obstruction of the reproductive tract, leading to complications during ejaculation.

How Common Is Oligospermia?

It is not quite clear how many people have this condition of low sperm count or Oligospermia. They typically become aware of it once the couple tries to conceive and does not get positive or successful results. As an estimated figure, around 180 million couples worldwide suffer from infertility.

Infertility among men contributes to almost half of all infertility problems during conceiving. This figure of about 50% includes cases where infertility is the only factor and those most common cases where there are congenital disabilities in both partners.

Oligospermia Causes

Oligospermia risk can be caused by several conditions and lifestyle factors, as listed below:

1. Varicocele

As per studies, blood flow to the testicles can be disrupted due to the enlargement of the veins in the male scrotum. This causes an adverse increase in temperature that affects sperm production.

2. Infections

Viruses such as STIs or sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and gonorrhea can directly impact the sperm amount in semen.

3. Ejaculation Problems

Although most men have oligospermia with normal ejaculation, some ejaculation problems may cause a reduction in sperm count. Retrograde ejaculation is one such problem. Other issues that can interfere with normal ejaculation include injury, implants, tumours, cancer, or previous surgery

4. Medications

Medications associated with beta-blockers, antibiotics, and blood pressure contribute toward reducing sperm count and causing ejaculation problems.

5. Obesity

Being overweight or obese leads to the risk of low sperm count as it affects the necessary hormone production.

6. Consumption of Various Drugs and Alcohol

Drug components such as marijuana and cocaine can reduce the sperm count of your semen. Moreover, those with alcohol and smoking addiction face similar problems of ejaculation and low sperm count.

7. Exposure to Chemicals and Metals

Pesticides, detergents, and sprayers with a few chemicals can reduce the count of sperm. Exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, can also be a huge problem.

8. Excessive Heating and Exposure to Radiation

Overheating of or around the genitals can contribute to a temporary reduction in sperm production.

9. Hormonal Problems

Various hormones responsible for sperm production are produced through the activity of the brain and testicles. But, any imbalance in these levels of hormone production can lead to lower sperm count and infertility issues.

Symptoms of Oligospermia

One of the highlighted symptoms of low sperm count is the inability to conceive a child; usually, no other symptom is observed. For some males, it might be due to basic problems of inherited chromosomal abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, enlarged testicles or a condition that prevents sperm from passing.

These issues can cause symptoms and sex-related issues of low sex drive or difficulty maintaining an erection, addressing pain, swelling, or a lump in the testicles. Also, they can have an impact on facial or body hair.

How Does Oligospermia Affect Male Fertility?

As per studies, many males with oligospermia notice problems in the conceiving process due to low sperm count. Some of them still conceive despite lower sperm counts, but fertilization may become more difficult. Some of the most common causes of oligospermia also increase a man’s risk for other broad fertility issues such as sperm motility problems.

Sperm motility refers to how active sperm acts in male semen. The normal activity allows sperm to swim toward an egg for fertilization easily. But abnormal motility or unpredictable movement of sperm can restrict sperm from moving in the right direction to reach the egg.

Oligospermia Treatment

As per studies, the treatment of Oligospermia depends on what has caused it.

1. Hormonal Balance

If you have issues with hormone balance, you should go for treatments to acquire a healthy balance of hormones to increase sperm production.

2. Surgery

In the case of varicocele, one might go for surgery to treat the enlarged veins by redirecting the blood flow.

3. Medication

In case of bacterial or virus related causes of oligospermia, you should first treat the inflammation and infection and then have the prescribed medications. This will improve sperm count and prevent it from dropping.

4. Others

One of the important treatment methods is making healthy lifestyle changes. With proper reproduction assistance, you can focus on and get various other options to explore to cure infertility issues.

Oligospermia Natural Treatment

Men with oligospermia can opt to adopt natural treatment methods to increase the chances of conception, as described below:

  • Try and have sex more frequently during the period of ovulation to improve the chances of conceiving.
  • Always try to track the ovulation cycle of your partner to get successful results by finding the best times for effective intercourse.
  • Avoid using any kind of lubricants and oils as they can reduce the mobility of sperm and prevent it from reaching the target egg.
  • Get enough exercise and sleep.
  • Avoid any kind of addiction, such as alcohol, smoking or drugs.
  • Get the required amount of vitamin D and also add antioxidant-rich food to your diet.

Oligospermia Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurvedic treatments for Oligospermia include natural ayurvedic medications, panchakarma therapy - Basti type and a few diet and lifestyle changes for improving Vata and Pitta doshas.

When to See a Doctor?

It is not quite possible to immediately detect that you might have oligospermia or low sperm count. It is not something one can feel. The first sign is associated with difficulty in conceiving with your partner. Therefore, consult a doctor if you are unable to conceive a child even after one year of regular unprotected sex or immediately after observing any of the following issues:

  • Problems with arousal or erection, low sex drive, or other problems with sexual activity.
  • Pain, discomfort, or swelling in the testicles.
  • A history of testicles, prostate cancer or sexual problems.
  • Surgery for groin, testicles, penis or sputum.


As per studies, it is possible to prevent low sperm counts. The lifestyle issues that cause infertility in males can be prevented with better physical care, such as ensuring healthy and sound sleep, exercising daily, and organizing your diet properly. Some other suggestions are mentioned below:

  • Do not smoke.
  • Eat nutritious food, including zinc and vitamin C in particular, as a lack of these nutrients can cause problems in sperm production.
  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid any kind of drugs.
  • Consult your doctor about medications that can affect sperm count.
  • Maintain a healthy weight as per your body type.
  • Avoid heat.
  • Control the pressure by managing stress.
  • Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins.
  • Avoid radiation from mobile and laptops; they emit low levels of radiation that can interfere with sperm production.
  • Work on your immune system as any bacteria and inflammation can completely stop the production of healthy sperm. Regular exercise will ensure a healthy immune system.

Summing Up

Low sperm counts reduce the chances of you getting pregnant naturally with your partner. The first step in finding the cause of the problem is to contact your doctor for tips or tricks that can help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Make sure you ask all the questions you want to ask and find the answers you need for better assistance and treatment. According to studies, with proper care and treatment, most men with oligospermia are able to fertilize their partner's egg, despite low sperm counts.