A customized treatment plan can help men overcome a low sperm count
When you’re trying to conceive, it can be surprising to learn that you or your partner has a low sperm count. However, it can be comforting to know that most patients who visit Texas Fertility Center (TFC) with this issue go on to have healthy babies with male infertility treatment.
While some men only need to implement lifestyle changes, others can benefit from surgery or fertility treatments. Susan Hudson MD and her team at our New Braunfels fertility center will work with you to develop the right treatment plan for you.
What is the normal range for a sperm count?
Sperm count refers to the number (concentration) of sperm present in one milliliter (mL) of semen. Although sperm count is the most familiar to patients, it is just one parameter that a standard semen analysis will measure. The test will also examine sperm motility (the percentage of actively swimming sperm), morphology (the percentage of sperm with a normal shape), seminal volume and the presence of white blood cells.
Our New Braunfels fertility center team looks for a sperm concentration (count) of at least 20 million per mL of semen. When it comes to motility and morphology, at least 50% of sperm should have normal motility and at least 15% should have a normal morphology.
Many issues can cause a low sperm count
Male infertility due to sperm count issues doesn’t just have one cause. As a result, Dr. Hudson works with local urologists to identify what’s causing the problem in each patient.
- Hormonal issues can affect a man’s sperm count. When this occurs, hormonal signals may not travel between the brain and the reproductive organs as they should.
- Structural problems are often responsible for issues with a man’s sperm count. These conditions include varicoceles, blockages, undescended testicles and sperm duct issues.
- Past surgeries, infections and injuries can block the normal flow of sperm from the testes to the penis. In some cases, it can lead to retrograde ejaculation.
- Genetic or chronic illnesses, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can cause a low sperm count.
- Cancer of the male reproductive organs and cancer treatment can negatively affect a man’s sperm count.
- Low T medications and anabolic steroid use can reduce the number of sperm a man produces. Often, stopping these medications is enough to resolve male infertility.
Lifestyle factors also play an important role in sperm production. For optimal physical and reproductive health, our team recommends eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI), and avoiding cigarettes, illicit drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. Men should also avoid workplace and environmental toxins that could harm male fertility.
Getting treatment for sperm issues and male infertility
Our New Braunfels fertility center works with the best urologists in Texas to help men overcome a low sperm count and conceive. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis and unique situation, this collaborative approach to care could include lifestyle changes, surgery or fertility treatments. While intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an excellent option, a man with a very low sperm count may need to rely on in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
If you’re ready to get help for male infertility, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Hudson and her team look forward to helping you welcome a healthy baby.