Women are not the only sex who can suffer from infertility. In fact, a couple's inability to get pregnant is just as likely to be the result of male infertility. Diagnosed by a semen analysis wherein a man's semen is sent to a laboratory to be analyzed, male infertility has several potential causes, including the absence of sperm, abnormal sperm shape, problems with sperm movement, genetic defects, and sperm count, among others.
What is Low Sperm Count?
Sperm count, also known as sperm concentration, is a measure of the concentration of sperm in a man's ejaculate. Normal sperm count is any number over 20 million sperm per milliliter. Anything lower is considered a low sperm count, technically known as eligozoospermia. A low sperm count can have various causes, and the condition may be temporary or permanent.
While sperm count cannot always be increased, some possible treatments for low sperm count include clomiphene citrate, injections of hMG and hCG hormones, as well as testosterone supplements, supplements of Vitamins C and E, high-protein diets, and homeopathic remedies.
Getting Pregnant with Low Sperm Count
The good news is that despite a man's low sperm count, it can still be possible for a couple to conceive. Often low sperm count is only one of the variables contributing to a state of infertility, and there are proactive steps a couple can take to overcome this difficulty.
•1) Use of a Cervical Cap: This conception device keeps semen from the vaginal cavity and instead allows semen to pool against a woman's cervical os (the external orifice of the uterus). When the time of month that a woman is ovulating arrives, she fills the cervical cap with semen and places it on her cervical os for a number of hours with the intent of maximizing the amount of semen available for fertilization with an egg.
•2) Artificial Insemination
•3) In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
When Should Men Be Tested for Low Sperm Count?
Anytime infertility is suspected it is advisable to do a sperm count test right away, before commencing any type of treatment. If the sperm count is normal, then a couple will have ruled out one possible contributor to their inability to get pregnant. If the sperm count is low, appropriate treatments or interventions can begin without delay. In the past, couples frequently did not consider male infertility as a potential factor, and valuable time, effort, and money were wasted on interventions that did not work.