We help patients with low sperm count fulfill the dream of parenthood
Our Las Vegas fertility doctors help men and couples overcome the barrier of low sperm count, also called oligospermia. When a man has oligospermia, his body ejaculates a low number of sperm. Many specialists define a low count as a sperm sample with fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
This fertility issue can make it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg. However, certain lifestyle changes and fertility treatments can help men move past this challenge to build families.
The potential causes of low sperm count
Structural, hormonal, genetic and lifestyle factors can influence a man’s sperm count. While the effects of some of these factors are reversible, others require a man to utilize fertility treatments when he’s ready to start a family.
- Retrograde ejaculation, in which semen travels backward into the bladder, instead of out of the body
- Varicocele, or the swelling of veins around the testicles
- Abnormalities in the tubes that transport sperm out of the body
- Anti-sperm antibodies, which are immune system cells that mistake sperm for invaders and try to destroy it
- Certain infections causing scarring that blocks the passage of sperm
- Imbalances in testosterone and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which are necessary for sperm production
- Chromosome abnormalities, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, that obstruct the healthy development of male reproductive organs
- Medications such as alpha-blockers, testosterone replacement therapy, anabolic steroids, chemotherapy drugs, certain antibiotics, antifungal medications and some ulcer medications
- Cancers and nonmalignant tumors that affect the health of male reproductive organs or impede the production of reproductive hormones
- Environmental factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals or heavy metals, radiation or overheating
- Lifestyle factors, such as drug or tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, or a high body mass index (BMI)
To determine why a man might have a low sperm count, one of our Las Vegas fertility doctors will assess the man’s medical history and recommend a physical exam and semen analysis. In some cases, the doctor will also recommend bloodwork and genetic testing.
Our clinic provides effective treatments for male patients with oligospermia
After reviewing the results from the patient’s fertility test, the doctor can often provide an infertility diagnosis. This diagnosis can inform the treatment plan the doctor recommends. Men with oligospermia can benefit from a variety of treatments.
Medication. If a hormone imbalance is contributing to a man’s sperm count issues, the doctor might prescribe a medication like clomiphene citrate, which can trigger the production of hormones that contribute to sperm production.
IVF with microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration, MESA. Men who can produce sperm, but not ejaculate it, can benefit from MESA, which consists of a doctor collecting semen from the coiled tube lying behind and above each of the man’s testicles.
Intrauterine insemination, IUI. During this simple procedure, the doctor uses a catheter to insert sperm into the uterus of the male patient’s female partner.
IVF with donor sperm. In some cases, a very low sperm count can lead to the need for donor sperm.
With the support of our Las Vegas fertility doctors, many patients with oligospermia can move past this fertility challenge and welcome new babies into their families.
Contact us for more information about male infertility tests and treatments.