Low Sperm Count – Causes and Treatment
What is low sperm count? Sperm cells are produced in the testicles and semen is the thick white fluid that contains them. When the male reaches puberty, then the sperm within his testes develops to full maturity. The capability of sperm cells to fertilize an egg cell is positively necessary in order for the female to conceive. A low sperm count can lead to male infertility.
In his lengthy and informative article on low sperm count posted on his website, Dr. Ray Sahelian discusses how diet and food supplements can affect male sperm production. Dr. Sahelian provides a ton of information about how certain foods, medications, food supplements, and even exercise can lower or normalize a man’s sperm count.
Causes of Low Sperm Count
In the following excerpt from his article, Dr. Sahelian points out the possible causes of low sperm count.
“Sperm count measures how many sperm are in a man’s ejaculate. Anything over 20 million sperm per milliliter is considered normal. A sperm count less than 20 million per milliliter is called oligospermia. A low sperm count is one cause of male infertility. It only takes a single sperm to fertilize an egg (ovum). But the odds of a single sperm reaching the egg are quite low. A medical evaluation can help determine the cause of a low sperm count. Possible causes of low sperm count include varicoceles, a side effect of certain medications, excessive stress, exposure to radiation or certain chemicals, smoking, testicular abnormalities that are present at birth (congenital) and diet. A potential cause of low sperm count is soaking for prolonged periods in hot tubs or jacuzzis.”
Other causes of low sperm count discussed by Dr. Sahelian include prescription drugs such as finasteride in Proscar and Propecia and antidepressant drugs like paroxetine in Paxil or Seroxat. It is possible that a diet heavy in sugar, beef, soy products and colas can damage sperm and reduce sperm count.
Treatment for Low Sperm Count
In his article, Dr. Sahelian writes that eating more vegetables and fruits is better than eating a lot of processed meat and dairy product in normalizing sperm count.
“Dr. Jaime Mendiola, of Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante, Spain believes men who eat lots of processed meat and full-fat dairy have poorer quality sperm than those who eat more fruit, vegetables and low-fat diary. He did a study with 61 Spanish men visiting a fertility clinic. Half of the men had poor semen quality and generally had a higher intake of processed meat and high-fat dairy than did the 31men with normal sperm counts. The men with higher-quality sperm tended to consume more fruits, vegetables and skim milk. The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may help protect sperm from damage. Meat and high-fat foods may expose men to higher levels of substances known as xenobiotics — including steroids and various chemicals in the environment that have estrogen-like effects, such as certain pesticides and PCBs. Xenobiotics tend to accumulate in high-fat foods, which in turn accumulate in men with high-fat diets. Fertility and Sterility, March 2009.”
Dr. Sahelian also recommends certain natural herbs, supplements, and nutrients that can help produce more sperm in males. These herbs and nutrients include Carnitine and Acetyl l-carnitine, Maca herb, Mucuna pruriens herb, Pycnogenol, antioxidants, and fish oil. Read more about them here.
To know more about low sperm count and other male and female fertility issues, visit http://sperm.org/ for more information.