What causes a low sperm count?

This can be caused by a variety of factors such as:

  • Age: evidence shows that male fertility starts to decline in the mid thirties which affects the quantity and quality of sperm.
  • Smoking: smoking lowers your sex drive and affects the volume and mobility of your sperm. So if you smoke you are likely to have a lower sperm count which is also poor quality as well.
  • Drug abuse: marijuana or cocaine can reduce the volume of sperm by as much as 50%. Anabolic steroids can also affect this volume.
  • Alcohol: this is proven to reduce sperm count, maybe even permanently.
  • Environmental factors: these include sitting down for long periods (at work) and exposure to hazardous chemicals which can affect fertility.

    If you have a desk job where you are sat down for most of the day then try and have regular breaks. Sitting down for a long period of time causes the testes to become overheated which then reduces sperm count.

    If you work in an environment in which you are exposed to potentially harmful chemicals then either ask your employer for a change of duties or make sure that you are fully protected whilst doing so.

  • Tight fitting underwear: tight jeans or underwear tend to restrict the flow of air around the scrotum which causes an increase in temperature. And this increase affects sperm production.

    Go for loose fitting trousers and boxer shorts instead.

  • Stress: if you are experiencing any stress then be aware that this can cause hormonal changes in the body which affects your sperm count.
  • Medication: there is a range of prescribed and over the counter drugs which can affect sperm count and fertility in general. These include drugs to treat cancer, heart disease and bacterial infections.

    If you are prescribed any medication by your doctor then ask him/her about the effects of this on your fertility.

  • Medical conditions: there are various medical conditions which affect male sperm count. These include high blood pressure, kidney disease and stroke.
  • Male disorders: these include impotence, premature ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation.
  • Overweight or obese: there is some evidence to show that carrying excessive weight can affect sperm production.
  • Genetic abnormalities: these include Klinefelter’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis. Men with cystic fibrosis often have a damaged or missing vas deferens which results in a low sperm count.

Male Infertility Guide Index:

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