A low sperm count is also called oligospermia. Having a low sperm count
decreases the odds that one of your sperm will fertilize your partner's egg,
resulting in pregnancy. Your sperm count is considered lower than normal, if
you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Nonetheless, many
men who have a low sperm count are still able to father a child.
Oligospermia is diagnosed through a semen analysis, which measures a semen sample to identify sperm count, motility (movement), and morphology (shape).
Asthenozoospermia is an infertility condition where a man produces sperm with
reduced motility. Motility is a sperm's ability to move straight forward,
quickly and is an important factor in natural conception. A reduction of
motility decreases the likelihood of sperm successfully swimming up the female
reproductive tract in order to fertilize an ovulated egg.
Asthenozoospermia tends to occur in men with kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, and other genetic mutations. Although there is not treatment for this condition, men with asthenozoospermia may still conceive children via an assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as In vitro fertilization (IVF).
Teratospermia is a condition of male infertility caused by an abnormality in
the structure of the male sperm. The abnormality, referred to as a morphology,
may lie in the shape of the sperm head or with the motility of the tail.
Regardless, the abnormality prevents the fertilization of the egg and is a
common diagnosis of male infertility.
Genetic abnormalities are the most common causes of teratospermia.
A complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. The problem is either
present at birth or develops later in life, and is sometimes referred to as "no
sperm count." This is a major cause of male infertility, when a man’s ejaculate
(semen) has no measurable sperm. Azoospermia is found in five to 10 percent of
men evaluated for infertility. The condition may be present at birth or may
develop later in life.
There are two types of azoospermia.
• Obstructive azoospermia: Sperm is being produced; however it is blocked from being expelled.
• Nonobstructive azoospermia: Sperm is not being produced.
Causes of obstructive azoospermia depend on the location and type of blockage. In some men, these passages may be missing altogether, blocked by the presence of tissue, build up, or scar tissue from previous injuries, infections, or procedures (such as a past vasectomy).
Men with spinal cord injury can frequently achieve erection and have sexual
intercourse, however the percentage who can successfully ejaculate is very low.
Penile vibratory stimulation is an office procedure that is painless and
requires no anesthetic or sedation which helps the patient to ejaculate.
Electroejaculation is another technique that can be used to stimulate ejaculation in men with spinal cord injury who are not responsive to penile vibratory stimulation.
Surgical sperm retrieval is an umbrella term for the group of procedures that
involve the surgical removal of sperm from the testes. It can be used in
conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF). These procedures may be offered
to men with azoospermia (no sperm in the semen) in order to obtain sperm for
Surgical sperm retrieval may be used in order to obtain sperm from men with either obstructive or non-obstructive azoospermia. It includes the following procedures:
• Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)
• Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)
• Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
• Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extraction (Micro TESE)
Vasectomy reversal is the reconnection of the tubes that carry sperm to semen, allowing men to contribute to conception after an initial vasectomy was performed. A vasectomy is the detachment of these tubes, typically performed in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring. While a vasectomy is typically considered a permanent method of birth control, vasectomy reversal allows that procedure to be overturned.
A man must provide a sample of fresh semen. The lab then washes the semen in
order to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid, tissue, and other matter.
Live and normal sperm are then selected and frozen.
This is also known as Cryopreservation
This procedure allows for an individual or a couple to protect their biological reproductive material at a time it is healthiest, before age or health conditions decrease their quality or quantity. Once the materials are preserved, they may be used in the future in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to achieve a pregnancy.
A semen analysis refers to the laboratory testing of semen to assess fertility,
either for the purpose of fathering a child or after a vasectomy to insure that
the semen no longer contains sperm. This is the analysis will most commonly
include a count of:
• Sperm concentration (number)
• Motility (the ability to move straight quickly)
• Morphology (shape)
The fluid surrounding the sperm may be tested for:
• Volume of semen
• Seminal fructose concentration (can indicate a blockage or obstruction)
• the presence of white blood cells (which would indicate infection) and the
• Liquefaction - time required for the fluid to transform from a gel to a liquid.
A semen analysis can detect male fertility problems; and accurate diagnosis may improve fertility. if it leads to effective treatment.
DNA fragmentation is the occurrence of genetically damaged sperm. DNA
fragmented sperm may cause infertility. If a man possesses a high number of DNA
fragmented sperm, it is possible that pregnancy conceived through intercourse
or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may fail, as the sperm is unable to
A DNA fragmentation test provides a number, conveying the percentage of sperm within an average ejaculation that contains the damaged DNA.
Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem(s) that prevents the individual or
couple from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity. Sexual dysfunction
refers to a problem occurring during any phase of the sexual response cycle
that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the
sexual activity. The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement,
plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Desire and arousal are both part of the
excitement phase of the sexual response.
While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common (43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report some degree of difficulty), it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss. Because treatment options are available, it is important to share your concerns with your partner and healthcare provider.