Oligospermia, also known as oligozoospermia, occurs when a person's sperm count falls below the World Health Organization's (WHO) healthy sperm count classification of 15 million sperm per milliliter of sperm. Oligospermia is characterized by a low sperm count and can interfere with your ability to conceive naturally.
Symptoms of Oligospermia
There are no obvious signs and symptoms of oligospermia in some men. This medical condition is only diagnosed when they have difficulty conceiving a child. Certain signs and symptoms may occur if a man has oligospermia due to other underlying issues such as chromosomal abnormalities, hormonal imbalance, or any obstruction. Some Oligospermia symptoms include:
- Swelling, pain, or lump in testis.
- Sexual functioning issues such as erectile dysfunction or the inability to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse.
- Inadequate facial and body hair growth, as well as other symptoms of chromosomal abnormalities and hormonal imbalances.
- Thick discharge.
- Enlarged and swollen veins in the scrotum.
Testing and diagnosis of the condition may involve the following:
- Semen analysis
- Scrotal ultrasound
- Hormone testing
- Post-ejaculation urine analysis
- Genetic tests
- Testicular biopsy
- Anti-sperm antibody tests
- Specialized sperm function tests
- Transrectal ultrasound
Fertility treatments can help if you have oligospermia and have been unable to conceive on your own.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This fertility treatment involves washing (processing) sperm and inserting it directly into a patient's uterus. IUI is a good first-line treatment option before attempting more invasive or costly assisted reproductive techniques.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): This technique involves removing oocytes from the ovary and combining them with sperm outside of the body to facilitate fertilization. The embryo is transferred into the uterine cavity after it has been fertilized. IVF success rates vary depending on the age of the female partner, but one study found that IVF resulted in the highest pregnancy rate among men with oligospermia.
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