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Low Sperm Count and Fertility *

Can You Get Pregnant with a Low Sperm Count?

 

Introduction

Studies have shown that men in the United States, Europe, and other regions of the globe are experiencing a decrease in fertility, and many experts are concerned with sperm motility and sperm count, both of which have declined over the past few decades. As reported by Scientific American, sperm counts in men from Australia, America, Europe, and New Zealand have dropped more than 50 percent in less than 40 years.

This is an incredibly important topic to discuss, as the impact of male infertility is far-reaching. Research shows that males are found to be solely responsible for approximately 20 to 30 percent of infertility cases, contributing to 50 percent of cases overall.

If you or your partner are concerned about your reproductive health, it may be time to discuss the possibility of a low sperm count.

Sperm Count for Fertility — Here’s What You Need to Know

A low sperm count simply means that the semen you ejaculate has fewer sperm than normal, which is considered to be fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Normal semen contains between 40 and >200 million sperm per milliliter, although 20 million per milliliter may be adequate for pregnancy.

Since there are fewer sperm, this will decrease the odds that one will fertilize your partner’s egg. It is, however, possible.

Warning signs

Although the main symptom associated with low sperm count is your inability to conceive a child, other warning signs may also include:

  • Issues with sexual function, including a low sex drive or erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or swelling in the testicle area
  • Decreased body or facial hair due to a possible hormone or chromosome abnormality

If you have been trying to conceive and have been unsuccessful after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse, it’s important to discuss this issue with a doctor.

Causes of low sperm count

Sperm production is rather complex, involving numerous systems and variables, ranging from sperm shape to the movement and function of your sperm.

Once again, this is something you’ll want to speak to your medical provider about, as each case is unique. However, some of the most common causes include:

  • Medical causes
  • Past infections can cause scarring, blocking the passage of sperm. This includes inflammation of the testicles, as well as STDs, like gonorrhea.
  • Varicocele is the swelling of veins that drain the testicles, resulting in lower quality sperm.
  • Issues with ejaculation, which may be caused by certain medications, past surgeries, or chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.
  • Hormone imbalances, which can impair sperm production.
  • Environmental causes
  • Exposure to heavy metals or industrial chemicals.
  • Exposure to x-rays or radiation. High doses can result in sperm production that is permanently reduced.
  • Lifestyle causes
  • Drug use, alcohol use, and tobacco smoking have been shown to negatively impact sperm production.
  • Emotional stress can impact key hormones and in turn, sperm production. Being overweight can also impact your hormone levels.

How to Get Pregnant with a Low Sperm Count

If you have a low sperm count, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of conceiving. The majority of the recommended steps can be implemented immediately.

These include the following:

Step one: Watch your weight

Approximately two out of three U.S. adults are overweight and one out of three is obese. If you fall into this category, losing weight is one of the most effective strategies to increase your sperm count, if of course, low sperm count is not due to any underlying medical condition.

Research shows that weight loss can increase the mobility, volume, and concentration of your sperm. To accomplish your weight loss goals, speak with your doctor and/or a nutritionist. You should also exercise more often to not only lose weight but support overall your sperm health.

Step two: Take vitamins and supplements

There are certain vitamins and micronutrients that are critical for sperm health. For example, studies have shown that vitamin B12 has positive effects on semen quality. Not only has this vitamin been shown to increase sperm count, but it also enhances motility and reduces DNA damage. Zinc is another nutrient that has been shown to significantly increase semen volume, as well as sperm motility and overall quality.

You can learn more about the types of micronutrients that will support positive reproductive health here.

Step three: Avoid substance abuse

As discussed above, low sperm count has been linked to individuals who have a history of heavy drinking, tobacco use of any kind, and illegal drug use, including the use of anabolic steroids, cocaine, and marijuana.

You should also limit your exposure to toxins and chemicals, including paint strippers, pesticides, metals, solvents, and any other endocrine disruptor.

Impryl Can Support Your Reproductive Health

Many health experts are concerned that the quality of men’s sperm is declining, which may be due to lifestyle and nutrition variables.

It’s important to remember that a low sperm count isn’t the only thing that matters when you’re trying to conceive. If you want to maximize your odds of becoming pregnant, it’s important to address your reproductive health to achieve healthy sperm overall.

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