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When a man ejaculates, normally anywhere from 15 million to 200 million sperm per milliliter are released. If the semen contains less than 15 million sperm per milliliter or 39 million sperm per ejaculate, the sperm count is considered to be low.

When the sperm count is low, the chances of fertilizing your partner’s egg is decreased. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot father a child. Many men with this condition are still able to impregnate their partner. There are several factors that can lead to this condition.

Low testosterone, or hypogonadism, can affect sperm count also. When testosterone levels are lower than normal, fertility can be affected. The lack of this hormone can decrease production of sperm cells. It can also affect sexual performance. Men with low testosterone levels experience a reduced sex drive and may have erectile dysfunction.


Low sperm count is a main cause for the inability to conceive a child. Other symptoms may include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
  • Decreased facial or body hair
  • Other signs of a chromosome or hormone abnormality

If the passage of sperm is blocked for some reason, such as by a tumor or swelling, it can affect the number of sperm found in ejaculate.


There are several reasons why an individual may have low sperm count. Medical, environmental and lifestyle choices can impact the number and quality of sperm. Production of sperm requires normal function of the male reproductive system. This includes the testicles, hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands, located in the brain, produce the hormones that trigger sperm production. After the sperm are produced in the testicles, they are transported through small tubes to mix with semen then ejaculated out of the penis.

If there are any problems within the system, the result may be fewer sperm being produced or ejaculated. Often, the exact cause of a low sperm count is not readily identifiable. There are also risk factors that can increase the likelihood of a lower sperm count.

Risk Factors

There are a number of risk factors leading to this condition. They include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using certain illegal drugs
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Infection
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Overheated testicles
  • Trauma to testicles
  • Being born with a fertility disorder
  • Tumors
  • Chronic illness
  • Cancer treatment
  • Vasectomy or major abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • A history of undescended testicles

You can lower your risks for low sperm count by living a healthy lifestyle and managing stress levels. Depending on the cause of your condition, various treatments are available. If you suspect you have a low sperm count and are concerned about conceiving a child, contact Neway Fertility. We do in-house sperm analysis and offer a variety of treatments and solutions for issues of infertility. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our doctors.

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