What Causes Low Sperm Count?
Having a normal sperm count is important when you are trying for a baby. However, if your sperm count is a little on the low side, making some simple lifestyle adjustments could boost the production of your swimmers.
In this article, we will look in more detail at the causes of a low sperm count, changes you can make to boost sperm production, and how you can check the concentration of motile sperm from the comfort of your own home with YO Sperm.
Common Causes of a Low Sperm Count
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines normal sperm concentration as more than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Of these, 40%, or 6 million sperm per milliliter, should be motile. Luckily, some of the commonest causes of a low sperm count can be reversed by making changes to your lifestyle.
The concentration of motile sperm can be lowered by:
- Cigarette smoking. Smoking can cause reductions in semen volume, sperm concentration and sperm motility. It may also affect the formation of sperm cells and affect natural hormone levels. If you are trying to conceive, it is advisable to quit smoking to give your little swimmers the best chance!
- Drinking alcohol. Even modest habitual alcohol consumption can negatively impact sperm count and the normal formation of sperm cells. Regular alcohol intake is therefore discouraged for those hoping to start a family.
- Compared to men of a normal weight, overweight men are 11% more likely to have a low sperm count. Obese men are 42% more likely to have a low sperm count, and 81% more likely to produce no sperm at all, than men of a normal weight. If you are heavier than you would like to be, losing weight is one of the most effective ways to improve your sperm count.
- Some FDA approved medications can affect the rate of sperm formation, leading to a low sperm count. This includes some (but not all) types of antidepressants, steroids, and antibacterial drugs. If you take any medications, you may wish to speak to your doctor or a fertility specialist to check whether your treatment plan is still appropriate while trying to conceive.
Other Causes of a Low Sperm Count
Other causes of a low sperm count tend to be rarer. Causes could include:
- A current or previous sexually transmitted infection
- Structural problems within the tubes that carry the sperm
- Hormonal imbalances
- Genetic conditions
- A history of an undescended testicle in childhood
- Previous operations to the testicles or groin area.
If you are concerned about one of these causes of a low sperm count, it is wise to speak to your doctor or a fertility specialist for advice.
Home Sperm Testing
When you want to start a family, it can be reassuring to get an immediate indication of your motile sperm concentration. YO sperm home testing kits accurately indicate whether your motile sperm concentration is above or below the normal concentration of 6 million per milliliter. This provides a convenient way to find out more about your fertility in the privacy of your own home. If the result is below the normal range, you may wish to make some healthy lifestyle changes, or seek advice from a fertility doctor for further investigation.
You can find out more about YO Sperm Home Tests here.