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Low Sperm Count: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2021

What is the treatment?

Low sperm count is a condition where the sperm count falls below the normal rate or below 15 million sperm/ml. This condition in medical term is called Oligospermia. This condition can further increase to a point when there is absolutely no sperm in the semen and that condition is called Azoospermia. The production of sperm is a very complicated process and it depends on a large number of factors such as your mental and physical health, your career and workload, your sexual and medical history. Apart from these reasons, your lifestyle also plays a very crucial role in determining the sperm count.

Since the reason for low sperm count cannot be determined easily due to a vast number of factors affecting it, the treatment for low sperm count is also not limited to a particular set of medication. It includes a long list of treatment guidelines that you need to follow in order to improve your sperm count. Regular exercising to boost your mental and physical health and a healthy balanced diet can all help you to overcome low sperm count. Apart from these basic treatments, there are also some medications that are used to improve sperm count in extreme cases.

What happens when a man's sperm count is low?

Not only low sperm count leads to infertility and lower stamina, but also leads to other health problems like:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High bad cholesterol and triglycerides level
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Low good cholesterol
  • Lower bone mass

Prolong decrease in sperm count can lead to major heart disease like a stroke which can also be life-threatening.

How is the treatment done?

If you are diagnosed with low sperm count, the first line of treatment is always improving on your mental and physical health as it turns out to be the reason for the condition in most cases. Hormonal discharge and Anti-sperm anti-body are also the reason for low sperm count in many cases. However, if the condition is due to some bacterial infection or some previous medication, you would be prescribed drugs to treat the condition. Some of the most common drugs that are used in treating low sperm count are Clomiphene, Letrozole, Human menopausal Gonadotropin, Testosterone pills, Bromocriptine, and Imipramine. Other drugs that are used in some very special cases includes Clomiphene citrate oral, Gonal-F and Gonal-f RFFsubcutaneous, serophene oral, Follitropin alfa subcutaneous and Gonal-F RFF Redi-ject subcutaneous. In some extreme cases, where medication is not futile surgeries is the last and only option. The most common of it being the Varicocele treatment where the varicose vein decreases the testicular functions. 40% of the infertile male suffers from this problem.

How can I increase my sperm count naturally?

There are plenty of ways through which one can increase their sperm count naturally, some of them are:

  1. Complete body rest:

    Studies have shown that men who are sleep deprived tend to have lower sperm count than those who are perfectly rested. Insufficient sleep releases harmful chemicals in your body that are not healthy for your overall sperm count.

  2. Active physical routine:

    Daily exercise strengthens your overall immune system resulting in a healthy sperm count. Even though the relation between an individual body mass index and sperm count is still weak, a scientist has suggested weight loss and exercise to obese patients for a healthy sperm count.

  3. Avoid consumption of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco:

    Researches have shown that moderate to excessive intake of tobacco and drugs can lower down the quality and quantity of sperm. Consumption of alcohol is also harmful to men's overall immune system.

  4. Avoid certain medications:

    Some of the medication can lower down the sperm count during the intake course, however, it is temporary and it will come back to normal once the salts properly dissolved leaving no trace in the body. So, here is the list of medications that can decrease the sperm count

    • Methadone
    • Antipsychotics
    • Anti-inflammatories
    • Anabolic steroids
    • Exogenous or supplementary testosterone
    • Opiates
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-androgens
  5. Take vitamin and mineral supplements:

    Studies have shown that balanced consumption of certain vitamins and minerals can increase your fertility rate. Here is the list of vitamins and minerals that can be added to your diet for better sperm count:

    • Vitamin - D
    • Calcium
    • Beta-carotene
    • Beta-cryptoxanthin
    • Lutein
    • Vitamin C
    • Folate and zinc
    • Omega-3 and omega-6
    • Polyunsaturated fatty acid

    Take consultation from your health expert before consuming any of the dietary supplements, an excess amount of any of the vitamins or minerals mentioned can lead to other health problems.

  6. Diet alterations:

    Food is the natural source for a healthy lifestyle, healthy food helps an individual to strengthen the body from within. Even though natural products are healthy, some of them may lower down sperm count in an individual. Here is the list of food items that can be avoided to better fertility rate:

    • Soy products ( or estrogen rich food)
    • Canned food
    • red and processed meat
    • saturated fats

    On the other hand, there are some of the food products that are suitable for overall sperm count and they are:

    • Fenugreek
    • Ashwagandha
    • Antioxidant-rich foods

    Note: Consult your dietician/ nutritionist before making any alteration in your diet. Even a healthy diet can be bad if not taken as per your body requirements.

  7. Avoid exposure to environmental and occupational contaminants:

    Current lifestyle of an individual may include living or working in an environment that is surrounded by toxic and polluted air. Also, fruits and vegetables that are manipulated via toxic injections can hamper your fertility rate.

    Try to avoid inhaling or consuming polluting agents by wearing a mask and keep a check on your food items before eating.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Only 20% of couple conceive in the very first month while 70% in the first six months. But if it has been more than a year then you surely need to visit a doctor to check your sperm count. The present average sperm count set by the WHO (world health organization) is 15 million sperm per milliliter. Individuals with sperm count less than the standard are eligible to treat low sperm count.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Conceiving a child in the very first month is only possible in 20 out of 100 cases and around 10% to 15% couple conceive a child in around 12 months. So it’s not that you are having a low sperm count even if you are not able to conceive in the very first year. This can also happen due to other reasons even if you sperm count is well over 15 million per milliliter.


Are there any side effects?

The side effects of treating low sperm count varies greatly depending on the medication and its dosage. Some of the most common side effects related to fertility drugs are temporary blurred vision, breast enlargement and tenderness, weight gain and liver damage in some very extreme cases. The drug Bromocriptine generally causes nausea and dizziness. Danazol is a synthetic hormone that gives you side effects such as acne, hot flushes and hirsutism (hairiness). Clomiphene is the most common drugs used in treating low sperm count and is often associated with mood swings and headaches. In case of surgery, the side effects can include all of the above along with sexual problems in the long run.

How bad is low sperm count?

Low sperm count can be stressful for you and your mate, as a low fertility rate can lower your stamina and affect your sex life. It also affects one's chances to reproduce. Although a lower sperm count does not necessarily lead to a low fertility rate, low fertility can be a reason for your low sperm count.

Other than that, unnatural reasons like surgery associated with your genitals or reproductive techniques like vitro fertilization (IVF) can decrease an individual sperm count leading to low stamina and immunity level. Low immunity makes a person vulnerable to other infections and bacterial infections.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post treatment guidelines include a better and healthy lifestyle in order to not develop the condition once again. De stressing is the key when it comes to post treatment for low sperm count. You would be suggested to include Vitamin C, zinc, selenium, folic acids, CoQ10 and anti oxidants to boost your sperm growth. Proper sleep and regular exercise to keep your body healthy and fat free. Limited sexual activity so as the supply of the sperm is always greater than the demand, this is also one of the major causes of male infertility. Check your other medications if you have any as they directly affect your fertility.

How long does it take to recover?

The time for treatment totally depends on the persons problem, its causes and background and the medication used in treating the condition. For very minor cases of low sperm count that doesn’t even require medication, the sperm count can get back to normal in even a month. In extreme cases, where the deficit is very high it can take up to 6 months and even a year to bring it back to normal.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment starts at as low as INR 100 but that medication is only for minor conditions. For serious conditions, the consultation fee can start at INR 500 along with medications ranging between INR1000 to INR 5000. In cases of extreme condition where surgery is the only option the cost can vary between INR 3 lakhs to INR 5 lakhs.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment is mostly permanent as long as the person is following the post treatment guidelines and maintaining a healthy lifestyle so as to avoid further developing the condition. Low sperm count treatment has got a high success rate as well. The only chances of it coming back are the exposure to conditions that enhances infertility.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The first line of treatment is an alternative that is to keep healthy and balanced life style. As your mental and physical health plays a very important role in keeping the check on your sperm count. Apart from this, you can also go for Ayurvedic and homeopathic treatment that is being sought by many people because of negligible side effects and cost effectiveness. Yoga and meditation has also shown great influence in increasing the sperm count.

Does bananas increase sperm count?

Bananas are a great source of protein and most of the time recommended by healthcare providers in the case of low sperm count. It also strengthens your immunity system and boosts stamina.

Bananas are enriched with vitamins like A, B1, and C, which helps in the production of healthy sperm. It also contains Bromelain, which is an enzyme which is known to boost individual sperm health.

Does milk increase sperm count?

Dairy products like milk, curd, and cheese can be a good source of protein, which is an essential nutrient required to boost one’s stamina and immunity. Milk is also enriched with lactic acid which contains antioxidants that help you to keep healthy and free from oxidants, excess oxidation in the body can hamper your sperm count.

Even though the scientist does not have any solid evidence associated with sperm count and insufficiency of calcium, doctors may recommend you to consume calcium-enriched food products to strengthen your overall health.

One thing you need to remember while incorporating dairy into your diet is to keep a check on the fat content. Dairy products like cheese and full-fat milk can increase your level of cholesterol and fat content in your body, which is also harmful if you're trying to increase your sperm count.


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