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The low sperm count in a male’s semen is called oligospermia. The complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. The sperm count is considered to be lower than normal if the sperms are fewer than 15 million/mm3 of semen. Having a low sperm count decreases the chances of female’s egg fertilization and inability in pregnancy. The production of sperm is a complex process and requires normal functioning of the testicles as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Once sperms are produced in the testicles, delicate tubes transport them until they mix with the semen and are ejaculated out of the penis at time of copulation. Any problem in this process can affect sperm production. There can be problems in sperm shape (morphology), movement and function.

Ayurvedic Description Of Oligospermia :

As per Ayurveda, oligospermia can be correlated with Shukra kshaya. Although none of the standard Ayurvedic texts have mentioned about the sperms count or motility of sperms but there have been references about the quality of semen in the form of Shuddha Shukra Lakshans. In Ayurveda, healthy semen is said to be fertile and is described as white, heavy, sticky, sweet in taste, more in quantity and which may look like the color of ghee, or oil.


Signs & Symptoms

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  • Low sperm count and motility
  • Inability to conceive

Causes and Risk Factors

Addiction

Addiction of drugs, tobacco and alcohol has direct affect on sperm production. It has been widely observed that those males who have the history of any addiction likely to have low sperm count.

Infection

Infection like prostatitis decreases the sperm count.

Obstruction

The ducts that carry the sperms from epididymis to the ejaculatory ducts are vas deferens; any obstruction in these ducts lowers the amount of sperms while ejaculation.

Age

With increasing age, the sperm count and motility decreases, post 35 years, age becomes a prominent factor in oligospermia.

Drugs

Drugs that include both legal like testosterone, anabolic steroids, and illegal drugs like opiates, marijuana have inhibitory effects on sperm production and motility. Certain medications like ketoconazole, pironolactone, cimetidine, nifedipine, sulfasalazine, and colchicine also cause infertility problems.

Other

Overheating of the testicles, sitting for longer duration, wearing tight clothes like jeans and shorts, working on a laptop for longer stretches of time too might increase the temperature in the scrotum and slightly reduce sperm production.

Self Care Tips

  • Strictly avoid alcohol and tobacco as these have contradictory affects on sperm production and especially if you are taking some treatment for fertility.
  • Don’t be stressed out, relaxation is a must thing.
  • Avoid the risk factors stated under the head of causes and risk factors.
  • Follow a lifestyle that is healthy for sperm production and choose the healthy and ideal environment.
  • Ayurveda has recommended eating foods that are Vrishya in nature, i.e. they promote sperm production in the males. Such foods include milk, desi ghee, herbs like Ashwgandha (Withania somnifera), but these must be followed only after taking the advices of a skilled Ayurvedic physician.

Ayurveda has advocated a separate branch that deals with the management of defective semen and spermatogenesis along with increasing sexual potency, is called as Vajikaran (Aphrodisiac medicine).

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