What Can Cause a Low Sperm Count?

If you and your partner are having any issues with male factor infertility, here are a few things to know about low sperm levels and what contributes to its onset:

What is a Low Sperm Count?

The average male will ejaculate around 250 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen after a climax. Of that amount, only a few hundred will find their way into the fallopian tubes for insemination, so you can imagine how difficult the process becomes when the initial deposit is highly diminished. For a man to have a low sperm count, that number must fall below 15 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen, and unfortunately, a decrease in sperm levels has become a growing trend since the early 1970s.

Predominantly an issue in Western countries, sperm levels have dropped nearly 60% over the past 40 years. Studies show that semen levels of Western men from various countries show that normal sperm counts at 99 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen dropped to below 47 million, and the decline shows no signs of slowing down.

Experts believe that male factor infertility will become a more casual problem heading into the future. This is due to several environmental, physical, and lifestyle factors that have major effects over time, and if men don’t take precautions now, their chances of improving their reproductive health will only get worse.

Possible Causes of a Low Sperm Count

Having a low sperm count shouldn’t be viewed as a single problem to correct. Instead, it should be viewed as a holistic approach that requires several changes to ensure a robust sexual health. For instance, a man’s sperm levels may be low due to a hormone imbalance triggered by the presence of obesity.

In another case, a low sperm count could the result of an STD that has compromised the reproductive organs and is stifling normal activity. The overall problem usually involves several underlying challenges, so evaluating one’s total health is always a good place to start when tying to find a solution. With that in mind, here are a few main causes of a low sperm count that men can face:


  • Exposure to high levels of radiation
  • Testicles are routinely subjected to intense heat
  • Contamination from harmful chemicals or pesticides

Medical Problems

  • Complications with STDs or HIV
  • Tumors caused by cancer
  • Varicocele or infections within the testicle or epididymus
  • Past surgeries on the testicles or abdomen (vasectomy)

Lifestyle Factors

  • Obesity
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Stress or fatigue

Although there may be many issues to worry about, the good news is that correcting a low sperm count can certainly be done with the right kind of guidance and support. After consulting with a fertility expert, you should be able to formulate a recovery plan that takes into account your struggles and provides you with the necessary steps to move forward in the right direction.

How to Reverse a Low Sperm Count

Based on what problems you may have, it’s always a good idea to alleviate any medical issues first. Complications with cancer, STDs, or testicular blockages require immediate attention, and once those conditions are under control, then you can move onto personal factors that help maintain your vitality.

Aside from medical conditions, your best defense against a low sperm count is to improve your lifestyle. Men who are trying to conceive owe it to themselves and to their partner to upkeep their personal health with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and to refrain from consuming harmful drugs and alcohol. Research shows that men who prioritize their overall health will see higher success rates of achieving pregnancy. Plus, living a healthy lifestyle has a substantial effect on hormone regulation, which is generally the main cause for low sperm levels in the first place.

The bottom line is that improving your sperm count is all about improving your well-being, so once you begin to recognize the reactions that your body has with each lifestyle choice, you’ll be in a much better place to start the family you’ve always wanted.

Make a Change with Laurel Fertility Care

Finding the answers on your own can be a difficult task, but Laurel Fertility Care is here to help make the process simpler than ever. Our team of experts can help you and your partner uncover the reasons behind your experiences with infertility, and better yet, we can present you with several options to alleviate the issues. Having a low sperm count should not be considered a roadblock to your future, but rather, it is an opportunity to improve your health and maximize your results with each attempt.

To learn more about Laurel Fertility Care and what our team can do for you, please give us a call and schedule and appointment.