A normal sperm count is medically assumed to be between 20 million/ml and 120 million/ml Therefore, any count below 20 million is regarded as low count.
A person with persistent low sperm counts together with low percentage of sperm motility and high percentage of abnormal forms. ( usually caused by infrequent ejaculations, drugs heat and varicocele ) may have difficulty in achieving conception and pregnancy.
Studies have shown that persistent low sperm counts and poor quality sperms are the main factors in male infertility.
It is important to not that over the past 50 years. It has been observed that the quality of sperms and sperm counts have been on a steady decline in most of our present day civilized societies. It is believed that the average male of today produces less than half of the sperms produced by the average male some 50 years ago.
Today, male infertility accounts for about 45 to 50% of all cases of infertility.
There are numerous factors that can cause poor quality of sperm cells or male infertility and the correct identification and assessment of the underlying causative factors is the main key to the successful administration of treatment by a competent health-care provider.
THE FOLLOWING FACTORS HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DECREASED QUALITY OF SPERMS AMONG OUR MEN
Genetic factors or malformed genital organs
Medical problems such as:
Varicoceles ( enlarged spermatic veins )
Diseases like under; overreactive thyroid gland, diabetes mellitus ( a high level of blood sugar may damage sperm cells ) hypertension, spinal cord injury and paralysis
Sexual and erectile dysfunction e.g impotence weak penile erection, premature ejaculation, inability to ejaculate or retrograde ejaculation ( i.e backward ejaculation into the urinary bladder )
Sexually transmitted infections such as Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Syphillis and some times, Tuberculosis affecting the sperm productive organs.
Hormonal imbalance e.g high level of prolactin and low level of male hormone ( testosterone )
Side effects of certain medications. For example, Finasteride ( Proscar ) a medicine used for the treatments of enlarged prostate and hair growth has been found to be capable of causing low sperm count and infertility in men.
Usage of steroids, anti-depressant pills, etc
Sperm Allergy – a condition where the body produces antibodies that kill the sperms. These abnormal immune reactions can occur in both men and women.
Other factors are:
Poor dietary habits which may result in
Nutritional deficiencies e.g lack of vitamin C Zinc, Iron (anemia ) and other deficiency diseases that may interfere with sperm production.
Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeing containing beverages, smoking and habitual intake of some social drugs like marijuarna and hard drugs
Exposure to domestic, industrial and environmental toxins and manmade chemicals.
Also, an increased exposure to the products of human technology e.g computer cellular phones, radio frequency waves, X-ray, lead in petrol etc
Intake of foods e.g red meat, diary products, etc that contain synthetic hormones and also pesticides, synthetic colorants, additives, etc
Over heating of the testicles through using hot bath tubs, saunas, wearing of tight-fitting cloths etc ) prolonged sitting e.g when driving
Chronic stress, mental over-exertion, over-thinking tension, lack of sleep, overwork strenuous exercises
Excessive sexual intercourse and frequent masturbation.
Overweight or obesity, lack of exercise, old age etc
It is important to note that there are occasions where no genetic, medical or physical illness or unwholesome lifestyles may be implicated in male infertility. In such situations, the cause (s) may be non-physical.
TIPS FOR IMPROVING SPERM QUANTITY AND QUALITY
Simple male fertility abnormalities could be improved or even resolved through the followings
Reducing high scrotal temperature by
Avoiding wearing tight-fitting jogging paints, jeans and underwears.
Avoiding hot tubs, saunas prolonged sitting in overheated vehicles or working in a very hot environment i.e avoiding all the tings that can raise the scrotal temperature.
Avoiding excessive exercises ( during exercises the testes hang freely ) in order to avoid a build up of scrotal temperature.
The presence of varicocele can increase scrotal temperature to the extent of inhibiting or arresting sperm production. In some cases this condition may require surgical repairs.
However, periodic application of cold bath ( or shower ) or scrotal ice bath and regular bowel movement may prevent surgery.
Limiting sexual activities to two or three times a week.
Excessive episodes of intercourse are known to weaken the sperm sac, ultimately leading to low production of sperm cells with good quality.
Cigarette smoking, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, drug abuse etc should be avoided including indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Excessive intake of these substances may impair the functions the reproductive organs, liver activity and can cause hormonal imbalance.
Avoiding exposure to environmental toxins, pesticides, insecticides, toxin chemicals like lead, organic solvents ionizing radiation etc
All kinds of infections and fever should be treated adequately.
Cold water sitz bath helps in increasing sperm count.
At least 8 glasses of water should be taken daily in order to avoid frequent dehydration
Regular aerobic exercise
Seeking balance between working and resting and avoiding stressful work.
Sleeping at least for 6 – 8 hours everyday.
Positive thinking and positive attitude
To function properly, the male reproductive system requires proper nourishments adequate intake of minerals, vitamins, physiochemical, etc
Nutritional deficiencies can impair hormone functions inhibit sperm production and contribute to the production of poor quality or abnormal sperms.