Low sperm count means that the fluid {semen} you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm count is also called, in medical parlance, oligospermia. A complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. Your sperm count is considered lower than normal if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.


The main sign of low sperm count is the inability to conceive a child. In some cases, an underlying problem such as an inherited hormonal imbalance or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm may cause signs and symptoms. Low sperm count symptoms may include

  • problems with sexual function — for example, sex drive or difficulty in maintaining an erection {erectile dysfunction}
  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
  • Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of chromosome or hormone abnormality



  • Varicocele
  • Infection
  • Ejaculation problem
  • Antibodies that attack sperm
  • Tumors
  • Undescended testicles
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Sperm duct defects
  • Celiac disease
  • Certain medications


  • Increase frequency of sex. Having sexual intercourse every other day around the time of ovulation increases your chances of getting your partner pregnant. However, ejaculating more often than that may reduce your sperm count.
  • Have sex when fertilization is possible. A woman is likely to become pregnant during ovulation which occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, between periods. Experts generally recommend having intercourse every two days near the time of ovulation. This will ensure that sperm, which can live for several days, are present when conception is possible.
  • Avoid the use of lubricant. Some products such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly, lotions, and saliva have been shown to reduce sperm movement. Ask your doctor about safe sperm lubricant.


  • Smoking tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using certain illegal drugs
  • Being overweight
  • Having certain past or present infections
  • Being exposed to toxins
  • Overheating the testicles
  • Having a prior vasectomy or vasectomy reversal
  • Being born with fertility disorder or having a blood relative with fertility disorder
  • Having certain medical conditions, including tumors and chronic illnesses.
  • Undergoing cancer treatments, such as surgery or radiation
  • Taking certain medications
  • Performing prolonged activities such as bicycling or horseback riding, especially on a hard seat or poorly adjusted bicycle


  • General physical examination and medical history
  • Semen analysis
  • Semen analysis results
  • Scrotal ultrasound
  • Trans rectal ultrasound
  • Hormone testing
  • Post-ejaculation urinalysis
  • Genetic tests
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Anti-sperm antibody tests
  • Specialized sperm function tests



  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit or abstain from alcohol.
  • Steer clear of illegal drugs and reduces stress
  • Talk to your doctor about medications that can affect sperm count
  • Keep the weight off
  • Avoid the heat
  • Avoid pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins