Yes, low sperm count is curable. Here are its causes, symptoms and natural remedies
Low sperm count can occur due to a variety of reasons such as medical issues, alcohol consumption and drug use.Updated: Jul 18, 2018 09:00 IST
If you have been trying hard to conceive but have been unsuccessful, there is possibility that you might have a low sperm count, that is your semen contains less sperms than the normal amount.
Also called oligospermia, a person is said to have low sperm count when he has fewer than 15 million sperms per millilitre of semen.
Low sperm count lessens chances of being able to fertilise your partner’s egg, hence reducing chances of pregnancy. However, it is also true that many men with a low sperm count are also able to have children.
Reasons for low sperm count
A decrease in sperm count maybe due to the following three factors:
“A condition called varicocele causes swelling of the veins that drain the testicles and is the most common and reversible cause of low sperm count. Certain infections can interfere with sperm production. Medications that cause ejaculatory problems, cancers and tumors, surgery, undescended testicles, hormonal imbalances, defects in the tubules that transport sperm, certain chromosomal defects, etc. are all other medical reasons for oligospermia,” says Mumbai-based Dr Nandita Palshetkar, who is the president-elect of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India.
This includes exposure to industrial chemicals and radiation and overheating of the testicles.
Sperm production in humans depends on the temperature of the testicles. It is the scrotum which regulates the temperature of the testes. However, in extreme heat situations, the scrotum’s natural cooling mechanisms could be insufficient to prevent the rise in testicular temperature. This increase in temperature affects both the quality and quantity of the sperm produced.
Health and lifestyle problems
“Drug use, alcohol consumption and smoking, unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, wearing tight clothes, emotional stress and weight are factors that come under this category,” explains Dr Nandita.
How to treat low sperm count?
If you suffer from low sperm count, these changes will help cure the condition.
Indulge in physical activity
“It is important to exercise for some time every day. Research indicates that there is a direct link between weight loss and exercise and improved or increased sperm count,” advises Dr Hrishikesh D Pai, who is based in Mumbai and is the medical director at Bloom IVF Group.
Quit smoking and drinking
“These not only lead to reduced sperm count but affect a person’s overall sexual well-being,” says Dr Pai. “Smoking damages the blood vessels tampering with the flow of blood into the penis, thereby causing erectile dysfunction. The blockage in blood vessels further takes a toll on virility. While it takes time for the body to heal post quitting, adequate exercise and a healthy diet can help accelerate improvement in virility,” explains Gurgaon based Dr Anil Mandhani, chairman, urology and andrology, kidney and urology institute at Medanta – The Medicity.
Avoid excessive consumption of medicines
Low sperm count is among the several side effects of overdose of prescription drugs. You might want to check with your doctor whether you are taking certain medicines due to which your sperm count might have fallen or been affected. For example, diuretics can cause dehydration which could lead to low semen volume.
Increased stress can cause the body to take defensive action and conserve energy. In such times, the body focuses less on reproduction and more on surviving. Not only sperm count and sexual energy, stress can cause a lot of problems such as gaining weight, hair loss, skin problems and more.
Cut out on that junk food and focus on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain based foods. Certain foods such as walnuts, citrus fruits, most fish, dark chocolate, garlic, bananas, broccoli, turmeric, most leafy greens, and fermented nuts and seeds are good for improving sperm count.
Increase intake of vitamin D and calcium
There are studies indicating a direct link between the levels of Vitamin D and calcium and improved sperm count. The journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology had a study which said that a male’s vitamin D status is linked with his success rate while the couple is trying to conceive. Human infertility occurs when a couple cannot attain pregnancy after a year of having unprotected sexual intercourse.
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