Infertility is a problem for a majority of people, affecting an average of 8 to 12 percent of couples worldwide. There are at least 2 million cases of Male Infertility annually, according to The National Women’s Health Information Center – NWHIC.
And did you know, except for some physical injuries, low sperm count (Oligozoospermia) and poor sperm quality are mostly responsible for male infertility in more than 90% of the cases?
The other 10% reasons could include critical illness, malnutrition, genetic abnormalities, pollution, side effects of some medicines, hormones, and chemicals.
Oligospermia or (Oligozoospermia or low sperm count) is the infirmity in which semen has a low density of sperm and is the leading cause of infertility. A man, whose ejaculate contains less than 20 million sperm per milliliter is said to be suffering from this condition. An absolute absence of the sperm is called azoospermia.
The WHO defines ‘healthy sperm count’ as:
- The concentration of sperms should be at least 20 million per ml.
- The total amount of semen should be at least 2ml.
- At least 75% of the sperms should be alive (it is normal for up to 25% to be dead).
- At least 30% of the sperms should be of normal shape and form.
- At least 25% of the sperms should be swimming with the fast progressive movement and 50% could be slow.
The purpose of semen is purely for reproduction, it acts as a mediator to carry the sperms into the female reproductive tract. Usually, each milliliter of semen contains millions of sperms, but the majority of the volume consists of secretions of the glands in the male reproductive organs.
Oligospermia and Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, healthy semen which is more fertile is described as Bahal (thick), Madhur (sweet), Snigdha (unctuousness), Guru (heavy), Picchill (slimy), and Shukla (white) in color, more in quantity, and may look like the color of ghee, honey or oil.
As per Ayurveda, Oligospermia may be related to Kshina Shukra (weak semen). In this condition, sperms are not able to fertilize the ovum. The reason for Kshina Shukra (weak sperm) or Shukradushti (Impaired sperm) may arise due to the vitiation of Doshas, especially Vata Dosha.
Low Sperm Count Symptoms
The primary and fundamental symptom of oligospermia is sub fertility or infertility. Secondary symptoms include:
- Burning sensation while urination or ejaculation
- Testicular pain and swelling or lump formation in the testicle.
- Thick discharge from the penis
- Dilated veins in the scrotum and swelling
- A problem in sexual functions like difficulty to maintain an erection (Erectile dysfunction)
- Reduction in facial and body hair, or other signs of hormonal imbalance.
Low Sperm Count Causes
Oligospermia (Low Sperm Count) can be the result of many circumstances, some could be permanent and some can be reversed. The major cause of this disease is the obstruction of the normal flow of sperm due to conditions like testicular trauma and vasectomy.
Oligospermia may also result from some other causes like surgery on the male reproductive system, any infection, or sexually transmitted diseases.
The inflammation of the testicles or sexually transmitted infections, such as Gonorrhea or HIV can result in permanent damage of testicles, but most often sperm can still be retrieved. The infection can lead to less production of sperm or block its passage.
2. Ejaculation Difficulties
Oligospermia could also be due to problems in ejaculation. There are many health conditions like Urethra, Prostate, or bladder surgery, which can be responsible for this kind of difficulty.
Tumors can also affect the reproductive organs, which in turn affect male fertility.
4. Hormonal Imbalance
Pituitary, hypothalamus, and testicles generate hormones that are necessary for sperm production. The imbalance of these hormones can result in the impairment of sperm production.
Blockage in tubules that transport sperm can also lead to oligospermia.
6. Chromosome defects
Klinefelter’s syndrome, Kallmann’s syndrome, and Kartagener’s syndrome are said to be responsible for low sperm count.
7. Certain Medications
Use of steroids, certain antibiotics, or cancer medications can lead to issues in sperm production.
Wearing tight clothes and doing sitting jobs for prolonged periods may cause an increase in the temperature of the scrotum, which can result in decreased sperm count.
Alcohol consumption and smoking may lower testosterone levels and result in decreased sperm production.
10. Psychological Causes
Emotional stress, trauma, depression, workload, and obesity can also be responsible for decreased sperm production.
Types of Oligospermia
A healthy quantity of sperm is very much imperative for fertility. Though sperm count in the ejaculate can vary throughout life, if a person’s sperm amount per ml is less than 15, he is suffering from the below-given types of Oligospermia.
- Mild Oligospermia is 10 to 15 million sperms per ml.
- Moderate Oligospermia is considered 5 to 10 million sperms per ml.
- Severe Oligospermia is diagnosed when sperm count falls between 0 and 5 million sperms per ml.
How can low sperm count be diagnosed?
- Scrotal ultrasound
- Post-ejaculation urinalysis
- Testicular biopsy
- Anti-sperm antibody tests
- Specialized sperm function tests
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Semen analysis
Ayurvedic Treatment for Low Sperm Count
Ayurveda shows several ways to increase sperm counts and quality, like various Ayurvedic herbs, diet, and exercise.
The herbs that help increase the sperm count are known as ‘Vajikarana dravya’ and provide the required strength, energy, and stamina for intercourse.
1. Safed Musli
A well-known aphrodisiac that is highly effective in improving sexual strength. This herb is often known as the ‘Herbal Viagra.’ It shows excellent results in increasing a man’s sex power and physical stamina.
Safed Musli Churna – 1 tbsp twice a day with warm water or milk
This potent Ayurvedic herb is a time-tested remedy used to improve sperm count and quality for centuries. Because of its anti-aging properties, it can keep a man youthful so he can enjoy sex for a more extended period in his lifetime.
Shilajitvadi bati – 1 tablet twice a day with milk or warm water after meals
It is one of the top aphrodisiac agents known to increase sexual stamina. It also improves blood circulation, which, in turn, enhances sexual health by boosting sperm production. This herb is known as Indian ginseng because of its rejuvenating powers that enhance vitality and sex drive.
Ashwagandha tablet – 1 tablet twice a day with water
Shatavari has been used to increase sexual vitality in men for ages. Its regular consumption can improve and prolong sexual arousal and erections. Shatavari can revitalize a man from various sexual dysfunctions, strengthen the sexual organs, and reduce inflammation in the reproductive system. This herb is a definite winner for Oligospermia as it has proven results to increase testosterone in males.
Shatavari Churna – 1 tbsp with milk at night
Natural ways to increase your sperm count
1. Reduce the frequency of sex & masturbation
The more times you ejaculate, the less dense your semen will be. So, it is crucial to maintain a gap of three days between 2 constant ejaculations. Make love in the early morning or afternoon as sperm levels are often highest in the mornings.
2. Refrain from habits like smoking and alcohol consumption
Alcohol affects liver functioning, which causes a significant rise in estrogen levels. Even two drinks a day will have long-term impacts on sperm production.
- Sarvang Asana (Shoulder stand)
- Dhanur Asana (Bow pose)
- Hal Asana (Plough pose)
- Paschimottan Asana (Seated forward bend)
- Kumbhakasana (Plank pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
- Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
- Nauka Asana (Boat pose)
4. Eat nutritious food
A diet that is high in protein and low in fat should be taken. Try to include vegetables, whole grains, citrus fruits, brown rice, banana, dark chocolate, and seafood like oysters and wild salmon in your diet. Garlic, turmeric, spinach, and milk products containing Vitamin D are suitable for sperm production. Make sure to avoid bitter, astringent, and spicy foods and reduce caffeine intake.
5. Avoid high temperature for testicles
Wear comfortable, cotton boxer shorts. Try to avoid hot baths and saunas so that the testicles don’t heat.
6 Bathe in cold water
The scrotum should ideally be 4 degrees cooler than the body’s temperature. So, taking a cold bath can help testes to produce the best sperm count range and quality.
7. Lose excess weight
Obesity or abnormal weight leads to testosterone/estrogen imbalances.
8. Reduce stress levels
Learn relaxation techniques to keep your mind and body calm with the regular practice of yoga and meditation.
9. Massage or Abhyanga
Practice body massaging with herbal oils such as ksheerabala as it increases blood circulation that promotes sperm count and also reduces stress.
10. Ghee, Milk & Sugar
This classic combination is perfect for increasing sperm count and quality. Take foods that are sweet and nutritious and give pleasure to the mind.
Please find below the infographic of low sperm count or Oligospermia. Feel free to use this infographic but make sure to cite us at www.healthybazar.com
Ayurveda has advocated a separate branch that deals with managing defective semen and spermatogenesis and sexual pontification, called Vajikarana tantra (Aphrodisiac medicine).
Though it is a very vast field to explore, still we have given our best to get you through everything and help as much as possible. The Ayurvedic medicines for low sperm count given-above can easily help you produce healthy offspring with some minor diet and lifestyle modifications.