Oligospermia means that a man has a low sperm count. As that description already suggests, this refers to a situation in which the man's ejaculate contains fewer sperm than normal. Fewer sperm in seminal fluid predictably results in a decrease in the odds that such a man will be able to get his partner pregnant. Sometimes, oligospermia can be overcome with lifestyle changes, while other men and their partners will need fertility treatments to get pregnant. A low sperm count can be caused by many things, but there are few symptoms.
In some cases, the solution is as simple as quitting smoking and living a more healthy life. Other men who have oligospermia suffer from underlying medical conditions that are not as easy to treat. Men who have had previous testicle or scrotum surgery and have been trying to conceive with no success should seek medical help earlier, for instance. Those with painful and swollen testicles, or those who are suffering from erectile dysfunction, also need medical care. But for many, a low sperm count has no symptoms, and the only indication is infertility the inability to conceive a child after trying for more than a year. Hormonal imbalances, tumors, antibodies that attack the man's own sperm, an infection, or a varicocele are among medical causes of oligospermia.
Environmental causes include smoking, exposure to pesticides, overheated testicles (due to clothing that fits too tightly, or hot baths), and heavy metal exposure. But even a vitamin deficiency, stress, or age can contribute to a low sperm count. The treatment of oligospermia is of course dependent on the underlying cause. In many cases, it is possible to solve the problem and boost sperm count. When this is not possible, Intrauterine insemination, or in more severe cases IVF in combination with Intracystoplasmic Sperm Injection, may enable a man with a low sperm count to have a child.