What is considered low sperm count?
What Is Considered Low Sperm Count?
The fear of having a low sperm count has crossed every guy’s mind once or twice. The thought may have even occurred to you long before you were trying to achieve a healthy pregnancy. If you’ve never suffered an accidental pregnancy during a decade of being sexually active or you’ve taken every measure to conceive with your wife, you may fear that you’re suffering from Oligospermia (low sperm count).
Let’s be honest. Who wants to go to their doctor and ask them to order a semen analysis? No one. If you’re in the early stages of considering whether you may need outside assistance conceiving, you’re probably starting to seriously consider the possibility that your sperm count is playing a role.
But what’s considered a low count, and what’s normal? Understanding the range and how you can improve sperm health is an important place to start, regardless of whether you are going to use a sperm count app at home or pay for semen analysis at a clinic.
Understanding How Low Your Sperm Count Is
If your sperm count is 15 million sperm/mL or lower, you most likely have low a sperm count according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2010 global study. However, there’s are different degrees of a low count. Patients could be placed into one of the following brackets by a Physician which are based on using one or two semen analysis results. All of these categories are measured in million sperm per mL of sample:
- Mildly Low: 10-20 million
- Moderately Low: 5-10 sperm
- Severely Low: 0-5 million sperm
- Cryptozoospermia or Azoospermia: 0 sperm
Does Low Sperm Count Spell Fertility Trouble?
It takes two to tango, and the health and fertility factors of both partners can affect how long it takes you to achieve a healthy pregnancy. If samples reveal that your sperm count was 15 million/mL or lower, it could be contributing to delays in conception. The American Pregnancy Association reports that male infertility is a contributing factor in 30 percent of situations where a couple is trying to conceive for 12 months or longer.
In other words, yes. A low sperm count could be the reason why you’re experiencing delays in getting pregnant. However, like almost everything else, semen analysis results are not always that simple. You and your partner may not be doomed for costly IVF cycles if your first sample revealed that your sperm count was under 15 mL/million.
Why Low Sperm Count Could Reflect Your Health
Fertility can be a reflection of your overall health and wellbeing. Researchers are actively working to discover the connection between sperm count and risk for health issues like cancer later in life. Luckily, many factors behind your sperm health are well within your control. Quitting smoking, achieving a healthy body mass index (BMI) and limiting your drinking to a moderate amount could all have a drastic impact.
If your at-home sperm test results consistently reveal a low count, having a discussion with your doctor could be an important next step. In the meantime, there is scientific evidence that an overall healthier lifestyle is important. Studies show that consuming more fruits and veggies, lowering your cholesterol levels and avoiding saturated fats may all improve sperm quality.
Is My Sperm Count Low Enough to Start Worrying?
A few months of trouble conceiving isn’t necessarily evidence that you and your partner are suffering from infertility. Male sperm count and quality can vary drastically within the space of a week or day depending on factors like rest and stress levels. Understanding your natural rhythms and maximizing your chances of conception could require ongoing monitoring.
Using a cost-effective tool for frequent testing, like the Zoon app, can provide you with sperm counts at home. Unlike your Doctor’s $300 tests, you can understand your count and how it changes over time for just $15 per test.