Dr. Douglas explains the correlation between a low sperm count and infertility
For couples struggling to get pregnant, finding the root issue of the problem is a critical step. When you visit our Plano fertility clinic, Dr. James Douglas will conduct a thorough evaluation to identify the causes of infertility.
Although many people think infertility is a female problem, male factor infertility impacts about one-third of couples who are experiencing difficulty conceiving a child. Once Dr. Douglas can pinpoint the problem, he can recommend options to help you create or expand your family.
Male factor infertility basics
Just as with female infertility, a variety of factors can impact a man’s reproductive system. Congenital abnormalities, physical obstructions, ejaculatory dysfunction and hormone imbalance may make achieving a successful pregnancy difficult. Another common cause of male factor infertility is low sperm count.
Understanding sperm count numbers
A normal sperm count usually ranges from 20 to 150 million sperm per milliliter. Referred to as oligospermia, low sperm count generally describes the condition when the volume is less than 15 million sperm/ml. When no sperm at all are present in the semen sample, the condition is called azoospermia.
How low sperm count impacts fertility
When a man has a lower than normal sperm count, the odds of conception significantly decline. Lifestyle choices, weight, certain illnesses and sexual health can interfere with normal sperm production. For instance, extended exposure to heat can drop sperm levels to almost zero. Frequent intercourse can hinder production; as well, excessive smoking and/or drinking may cause a decrease in sperm levels.
Determining your sperm count
As part of general fertility testing, Dr. Douglas will order a semen analysis. Your partner will need to provide a sperm sample for evaluation. The test will look at various factors including: how fast the sperm move (motility), the shape of the sperm (morphology), how much semen is present in one ejaculation (volume) and the number of sperm per milliliter (count).
Treating a low sperm count
If the semen analysis reveals a low sperm count, Dr. Douglas will review potential treatment options with you and your partner. The cause of the low sperm count may impact recommended treatments. With a varicocele (enlarged vein in the scrotum), for example, surgery may correct the issue. An antibiotic may eliminate infection if that has created the problem. For cases without a clear culprit, Dr. Douglas may suggest intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Visit our Plano fertility clinic for a complete fertility evaluation
If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant without any luck, call our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Douglas can perform a full assessment to determine the causes of infertility. Then, he will work with you to select treatment options and produce the desired result: a healthy baby.