Oligospermia and Azoospermia are commonly used words when we talk about male infertility. Nevertheless, for many people, these words will be meaningless. In simpler words, oligospermia means “insufficient sperm”, whereas azoospermia means “no sperm at all”. Oligospermia and azoospermia, like many other medical terms, have a Greek origin.
It is a medical condition when there is a complete lack of sperm in the semen sample of a male. It affects around 1% of the male population and nearly 15% of infertile males are affected by azoospermia around the world. There are 2 types of azoospermia:
- Obstructive Azoospermia: An obstruction or lack of a connection in the vas deferens, epididymis, or somewhere else along your reproductive tract causes this type of azoospermia. You are producing sperm, but it is being prevented from exiting, so there is no detectable proportion of sperm in your semen.
- Nonobstructive azoospermia: You have poor or no sperm production due to deficiencies in the function and structure of the testes or other causes.
Causes of Azoospermia
The cause of azoospermia depends on the type of azoospermia. Some of these causes include:
- Cyst development
- Genetic causes
- Kidney failure
- Hormonal imbalance
Oligospermia is a male fertility problem marked by a low sperm count. Other attributes of men with this condition’s sexual health are common. This encompasses the ability to obtain and keep an erection as well as ejaculate during orgasm.
The number of sperm in your seminal fluid can fluctuate throughout your life. An adequate number of healthy sperm is frequently required for fertility. Sperm counts of 15 million sperm per ml of sperm are considered average by the World Health Organization (WHO). Anything less is reported to be low and is referred to as oligospermia.
Types of Oligozoospermia
- Mild oligozoospermia: Mild oligospermia is defined as having 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.
- Moderate Oligozoospermia: 5 to 10 million sperm/mL is considered moderate oligospermia.
- Severe Oligozoospermia: If sperm counts are between 0 to 5 million sperm/mL, serious oligospermia is diagnosed.
Causes of Oligospermia
- Hormonal issues
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Ejaculation issues due to medicines
- Sexually transmitted infections
Treatment can increase the quantity and quality of sperm. Among these treatment options are:
Varicocele frequently necessitates surgery. Your doctor will close off the enlarged veins during the process. They will redirect blood circulation to a different vein.
Antibiotics and other medications are used to treat infections and inflammation. Treatment may not increase sperm counts, but it may halt the dips in sperm count.
Losing and maintaining a healthy body weight could increase sperm count. It may also lower your risk of a range of other health problems. To improve sperm counts, avoid using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
Hormones can be restored to a healthy level using a range of drugs, injections, and lifestyle modifications. Sperm counts may increase as hormone levels return to normal.
Stem cell therapy has emerged as a fresh hope for male patients due to their ability to self-renew and differentiate, stem cells have been proposed as therapeutic targets for a variety of diseases, including male infertility.