Symptoms of a Low Sperm Count
Problems trying to get pregnant can cause a lot of stress and frustration for a couple. Not only that, when a couple seeks fertility treatments, there can be additional stress, as well. Some causes of infertility are relatively easy to detect, while others will remain a mystery until you get help from a medical professional.
A low sperm count is the leading cause of male infertility. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of a low sperm count. There’s nothing a couple can do – apart from a visit to the doctor – to tell whether a man’s sperm is in sufficient supply and healthy.
If you’re having fertility problems and don’t know why, your doctor can test for a low sperm count. The doctor will need a sample of the man’s semen. You may provide the sample in the office, or it can be procured at home and brought back into the office later.
The semen is analyzed for three factors, including:
- Sperm count, to see if the concentration of sperm is low.
- Sperm motility, to see if the sperm are moving forward sufficiently.
- Sperm abnormality, as abnormal sperm can cause trouble trying to conceive.
There are a number of causes of a low sperm count, such as extreme heat on the testicles, exposure to high concentrations of heavy metals, pesticides, smoking, alcohol use, and more.
There are a variety of things that may help with a low sperm count, from addressing medical problems such as a varicocele to taking zinc supplements. If less aggressive methods don’t improve your sperm count, you may need to consider IVF or ICSI to try to conceive.
Ultimately, a low sperm count is a problem that can be addressed. However, because there are no symptoms associated with a low sperm count, you need to talk to your doctor. If a low sperm count is keeping a couple from conceiving, they can’t start to address the problem until the cause is actually identified.