The normal sperm count threshold is 15 million sperm for every milliliter of semen. If your sperm count is lower than that, it means you have oligospermia or a low sperm count. It also means that you will find it difficult to father children.
When oligospermia is accompanied by asthenospermia and teratospermia, then your fertility will definitely be impaired. If you have asthenospermia, it means your sperm motility rates are low. Teratospermia, on the one hand, means you have a high percentage of abnormal sperm in your semen. Here are 8 common causes of oligospermia.
Environmental Causes of Oligospermia
Sperm production is a very complex process that can be easily affected by various factors such as hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, as well as environmental elements. When you’re exposed to toxic substances, these harmful chemicals can find their way into your testicles and affect your testicular functions.
1. Industrial Chemicals
Exposure to industrial chemicals can also negatively affect your sperm production. Pesticides, for example, have long been associated with male infertility. Pesticides can actually destroy your reproductive health in many ways.
For one, these harmful compounds can directly act on your testicular cells and alter the structure of the cells in your gonads. When the structure of your testicular cells is altered, it will result in an impaired testicular function. This simply means that both your sperm and testosterone production will be negatively affected.
Furthermore, pesticides are sometimes referred to as endocrine disrupting chemicals. That’s because these toxic chemicals can act as if they are hormones in the body, thus disrupting the balance and functions of your natural hormones. And if your hormonal levels are imbalanced, then your sexual and reproductive functions will also be impacted.
2. Heavy Metals
Aside from industrial chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, benzenes, and organic solvents, heavy metals can also adversely affect your fertility. When you’re exposed to heavy metals such as lead chloride, aluminum chloride, and cadmium chloride, even at low levels, your sperm count and sperm motility will already be negatively affected.
3. Exposure To Radiation
Exposure to radiation is another cause of oligospermia. This is why men with cancer who undergo radiation therapy often develop infertility. Depending on the dosage of radiation exposure, your sperm production may be permanently diminished. Your sperm production may be able to recover, although it may several years.
4. Hot Environment
Exposure to elevated temperatures is another environmental factor that can also cause oligospermia. That’s because the temperature of your testicles needs to be maintained at a degree or two lower than your body temperature. Even a one-degree increase in your scrotal temperature can already have adverse effects on spermatogenesis.
Men who are exposed to high temperatures due to their occupations have higher risks of becoming infertile. For instance, truck drivers and chefs working near hot ovens have been found to have impaired sperm production. Even using heated car seats can increase your scrotal temperature and affect your spermatogenesis.
Medical Conditions That Cause Oligospermia
Numerous medical conditions are known to contribute to oligospermia. Depending on the medical condition that you’re suffering from, the mechanism by which your sperm count is impaired may vary.
Varicocele, for instance, is one of the most common causes of male infertility. A varicocele occurs when the veins that drain your testicle become swollen. Men with varicoceles almost always have low sperm counts and impaired semen quality.
Tumors in the reproductive organs are also common causes of low sperm count and impaired fertility. When a tumor is growing in your testicle, whether the tumor is cancerous or not, it can result in decreased sperm production. In addition, treatments for tumors also contribute to infertility.
7. Blockages In Your Sperm’s Passageway
Even when your sperm production is normal, if there’s anything blocking the tubes that transport your sperm, it can also result in oligospermia. A blockage in your urethra, for example, can prevent your sperm from coming out of your penis when you ejaculate.
In fact, urethral strictures are known to cause oligospermia, azoospermia, and even painful ejaculation or urination. Urethral strictures may be caused by infections and injuries, such as when the urethra is damaged during a surgical procedure.
Blockages in the vas deferens and the epididymis can also cause oligospermia.
When sperm cells are formed in your testes, they are transported to your epididymis where they are stored. Your vas deferens transport your sperm cells from your testes to your penis.
Anytime there’s a blockage in these two structures, your sperm will find it difficult to get out of your penis. Only a few sperm cells may be able to pass through the blockage, thus resulting in oligospermia.
Blockages in the sperm’s pathway may be caused by infections that cause inflammation and scarring. Gonorrhea, for instance, can cause epididymitis. Other sexually transmitted infections can also cause orchitis or inflammation of the testicles, and this can lead to impaired sperm production.
8. Retrograde Ejaculation
Other medical conditions that can also lead to oligospermia include spinal injuries and diabetes. Both medical conditions can cause retrograde ejaculation. This means that instead of emerging out of your penis during ejaculation, your semen actually flows back into your bladder.
Retrograde ejaculation can lead to a reduced semen volume. In some cases, it can even lead to dry ejaculation, meaning there’s no semen emerging out of your penis at all. For men with permanent retrograde ejaculation, they have to undergo sperm retrieval procedures in order to obtain sperm for assisted reproductive technology.
Improving Your Sperm Count Naturally
For men who are struggling with oligospermia, Malegenix can help raise your sperm count. Malegenix is a sex enhancement supplement that contains natural ingredients which are known to promote sperm production.
Tribulus terrestris and Tongkat Ali, both included in the formulation of Malegenix, are known to enhance male fertility. These herbs benefit your reproductive health by increasing your sperm count and motility.
Tribulus terrestris and Tongkat Ali are also recognized as powerful erection boosters. In fact, both herbs are considered potent remedies for erectile dysfunction. Plus, they can also aid in keeping your testosterone levels high.