Quite often the cause of infertility in couples doesn’t rest with the woman but in the fact that a male has, for some reason, low sperm count. There are a number of factors which could contribute to the problem, some of which may be temporary while others may be permanent. If you have been trying to conceive without success, then it is a simple matter of testing your sperm count to see if there is a problem. Once you have determined that you do, indeed, have low sperm count you can then begin to think about whether or not there are any viable solutions.
Checking Sperm Count at Home
In recent years there have been a number of at-home OTC products developed that can be used to check your sperm count. These tests can be up to 97% accurate and are surely a whole lot less expensive than undergoing diagnostics at a fertility clinic. Actually, at-home fertility tests for men are preferred by a good number of them as they are not at all comfortable going to the clinic under the scrutiny of anyone who might be there as well. (Of course it never crosses their minds that those other guys are there for the very same reason!)
Temporary Causes of Low Sperm Count
Sometimes low sperm count can be the result of temporary changes in lifestyle. For example, emotional stress is known to interfere with hormones necessary for maintaining adequate levels of sperm in the semen. Although rare, sometimes ‘technique’ will affect sperm count as would a number of other sexual issues such as any number of venereal diseases. Sometimes psychological problems as well as issues with a relationship can reduce the level of sperm in a male’s semen, but this can also be indicative of the underlying stress which inhibits the production of necessary hormones. Other factors contributing to low sperm count could include:
- Substance abuse
- Over heated testicles
- Nutritional deficiencies
While each of these contributory factors can be temporary, some of them may lead to permanent infertility if not caught early on. For example, men who are into bicycling and ride for extended periods just might damage the nerves and small blood vessels that provide erections. Substance abuse and smoking can also lead to permanently reduced sperm counts because of extended periods of toxicity.
Permanent Causes of Low Sperm Count
Most often permanent causes of low sperm count are caused by genetics. Three of the most common conditions which genetically effect sperm count are cystic fibrosis, Klinefelter syndrome and Kartagener syndrome. Sometimes environmental contaminants can lead to permanently low sperm counts such as radiation poisoning, pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals and even certain hydrocarbons. Getting to the root of these problems would necessitate undergoing very rigid diagnostic tests which may or may not be conclusive.
There are times when an obstruction is causing the movement of sperm cells which can be corrected surgically, while other times there is no way to correct the problem as would be the case in Klinefelter syndrome where the male has one too many X chromosomes or in Kartagener syndrome where the organs are found in reversed position.
What to Do When Test Results Indicate Low Sperm Count
If you have taken an at-home male fertility test and find that your sperm count is low, the best advice is to consider any of the above temporary causes of low sperm count to see if perhaps an alteration in your lifestyle will correct the problem. Many times adding antioxidants to your daily regimen can help cleanse toxins which interfere with sperm movement. A good vitamin and mineral supplement might be called for as well as increasing natural anti-inflammatories such as garlic.
After a period of 2 to 4 weeks, try administering a second at-home male fertility test. If the results still show a low sperm count you should seek medical counsel to get to the root of the problem. Sometimes the ultimate causes of low sperm count can be reversed through medical intervention. If the count is low due to poor mobility, there are ways to harvest sperm cells to artificially inseminate your partner if you are trying to conceive.
Unfortunately, many men are reluctant to undergo complete diagnostics when suddenly faced with the fact that they are suffering from low sperm count. There really is no social stigma to the problem and medical science has come a long way in this regard. It is possible to find OTC test kits online which can be shipped discreetly if you are concerned about your privacy. However, if in the end these tests are conclusive that your sperm count is low, you may have no alternative than to seek professional diagnostics to find the ultimate causes of low sperm count.