Low Sperm Count : Sign and Causes

Low Sperm Count : Sign and Causes
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 07, 2024

Low sperm count mainly means the fluid you ejaculate during sexual intercourse contains less sperm than normal.

It is important to know that men across the globe suffer from infertility, lowering their female partner's chance to get pregnant.

A low sperm count is known as oligospermia and when there is a complete absence of sperm then it is called azoospermia.

Your sperm count is considered lower than normal when you have less than 15 million sperm per ml of semen.

The factors that are responsible for influencing testosterone levels often have an impact on the number & quality of sperm.

You must know there are certain medical conditions like inherited genetic disorders, tumors, and infections that impact sperm count.

Although some lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help you to improve sperm count and ensure the development of healthy sperm.

In this blog, you will know what factors are responsible for low sperm count.

Signs of low sperm count

Being a man, you might not experience any signs of low sperm quality until you start a family.

The main symptom of low sperm count is infertility.

When you suffer from low sperm count due to underlying conditions like a hormone imbalance then the following symptoms are experienced:

  • Less facial or body hair
  • Low sexual drive
  • Swelling or pain in or around your testicles
  • Erectile dysfunction

Causes of low sperm count

Here are some major causes of low sperm count:

Infections, surgeries, current, and past health problems

Mumps and sexually transmitted diseases often leave scars that block the tubes responsible for transporting sperm in the male sexual organ.

Diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and some surgeries might also block the normal flow of your sperm.

As a result, you have a low sperm count and suffer from backward ejaculation.

Genetic or chronic disease

You must know that genetic causes of low or complete absence of sperm production are less.

Conditions like diabetes, prostate, high blood pressure, and peripheral vascular disease are often responsible for low sperm count.

Hormonal imbalances

Hormones drive the production of sperm and the hormonal signals between the pituitary, brain & testicles can cease together.

With a blood test, it is easy to confirm whether all systems are working or misbalancing is causing low sperm count.

Previous vasectomy

You must know that surgeries to reverse vasectomy might result in successful restoration patency in the tubes that carry sperm.

Some of the side effects of surgery might lead a man to produce antibodies, attacking his own sperm quality & count.


A varicocele is mainly a swelling of your veins that further drains the testicle.

It is considered one of the main common reversible causes of male infertility.

The problem of varicocele leads to the problem of decreased quality of the sperm.


Certain infections in your body can interfere with sperm health or production.

In this way, you suffer from scarring that further blocks the passage of a male’s sperm.

These usually include inflammation of the epididymis or testicles & a few sexually transmitted infections.

Some of the sexually transmitted infections like HIV or gonorrhea lead to the problem of low sperm count in men.

Certain infections even result in permanent damage to your testicular.

However, with the right medication and the doctor’s help, you can increase the sperm count.

Ejaculation problems

When semen enters the bladder during sexual intercourse, retrograde ejaculation occurs.

Several health conditions lead to the problem of retrograde ejaculation like spinal injuries, diabetes, and prostate.

To treat your ejaculation problem and deal with low sperm count, you must consult the doctor quickly.


The male reproductive organ is directly affected by cancers and non-malignant tumors.

Tumors happen due to the release of hormones related to reproduction like the pituitary gland.

Surgery, chemotherapy & radiation therapy that treat tumors also affect male fertility.

As a result, you start suffering from the problem of low sperm count.

Environmental and lifestyle factors

Some certain habits and occupations make men suffer from fertility problems.

A lower sperm count often makes it difficult for you to become a father. 

When trying to conceive and increase the chances for success, you need to maintain a healthful lifestyle & weight.

Some of the most common threats to a man’s fertility are:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Obesity
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Illegal drugs like marijuana
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents

Prolonged exposure to heat and long-distance cycling can also affect the fertility of a man and lead to low sperm count.

In such cases, you need to change your habits which will ultimately help to increase sperm count. 

Therefore, low sperm count can be treated easily with the right medications and lifestyle changes.