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Oligospermia is a condition when there are too few sperm in the semen that is released during ejaculation. Oligospermia can be a major cause of male infertility. Therefore, this condition needs to be overcome in order to increase the chances of having offspring
A man is said to have oligospermia if his sperm count is less than 15 million per 1 ml of semen. If this happens, her chances of having children will decrease.
Oligospermia has a degree of severity, and this degree determines the level of male fertility. The lighter the degree, the more likely a man is to have children.
Here are the degrees of oligospermia:
- Mild oligospermia, if the sperm count is 10-15 million per ml
- Medium oligospermia, if the sperm count is 5–10 million per ml
- severe oligospermia, if the sperm count is 0-5 million per ml
Various Causes of Oligospermia
There are 3 factors that can cause oligospermia, namely medical, environmental, and lifestyle factors. For more details, see the following description.
Some of the medical factors that can cause oligospermia are:
- Varicocele or enlarged veins in the scrotum. This condition can affect the control of testicular temperature, so that when the testicular temperature increases, the quality and number of sperm decreases.
- Problems with erection or ejaculation, such as premature ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation, which is a condition when semen enters the bladder instead of leaving the penis during ejaculation
- Sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and HIV
- Tumors, both benign and malignant. This condition can affect the hormones that regulate sperm production, resulting in low sperm count
- Genetic disorders, such as Klinefelter syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Kallmann syndrome, and Kartagener syndrome
- Use of drugs, such as testosterone therapy, use of anabolic steroids, chemotherapy, and some antifungal drugs and antibiotics
- Postoperative effects of vasectomy, inguinal hernia, prostate, scrotal, or testicular surgery
- Other medical conditions, such as hormonal imbalance, celiac disease, chromosomal disorders, and tubular defects
Some environmental factors that can cause oligospermia are:
- Exposure to heavy metals and industrial chemicals, such as benzene, toluene, xylene, pesticides, organic solvents, and herbicides
- Exposure to high levels of radiation or x-ray examination
Some lifestyle factors that can cause oligospermia are:
- Drug abuse, such as marijuana and cocaine
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Emotional stress and prolonged depression
- Use of the sauna or hot tub too often
- Overweight or obese
- Sitting too long, wearing tight clothes, and working on a laptop. These three things can also increase the temperature in the scrotum, so that it can cause oligospermia
How to Overcome Oligospermia
Oligospermia can be treated depending on the underlying cause. The goal of treatment is to increase the number and quality of sperm, thereby increasing the patient's chances of having children.
The following are some types of oligospermia treatment that you need to know:
1. Handling sexual problems
Oligospermia caused by sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, can be corrected with medication, counseling, or a combination of both.
2. Infection handling
The use of antibiotics can treat infections in the reproductive tract that cause oligospermia. Keep in mind that antibiotics cannot increase fertility if the damage caused by the infection is permanent.
3. Drugs and hormone therapy
Doctors may recommend medication and hormone therapy if oligospermia is caused by an imbalance in hormone levels.
4. Operation action
Surgery can overcome oligospermia caused by varicoceles or blockage of the ducts that sperm pass through. If the sperm level is very low, direct sperm retrieval for artificial insemination or IVF can also be done with surgery.
If you have oligospermia, but want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you can have sex every day or every 2 days, or schedule sex according to your wife's fertility date. In addition, avoid using lubricants because they can interfere with sperm movement.
The important thing that should not be forgotten is to start living a he althy lifestyle by fulfilling a balanced nutritional intake, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.
Some supplements, such as ginseng, folic acid, and black cumin, are believed to improve sperm quality and count. So, you can try taking these supplements. However, it would be better if you consult a doctor first.
If you and your partner have been trying to have children for a long time but haven't succeeded, one possibility is oligospermia. This condition can be found with a simple and fairly easy examination.
So, don't hesitate to check yourself and your partner to the doctor. During your consultation, you can ask about the cause of your oligospermia and what tips you can do to increase your sperm count and increase your chances of getting pregnant.