Low sperm count (oligospermia) is a leading cause of infertility or sub-fertility issues among men. While it requires only one sperm to fertilise the ovum, the odds of conception are such that it takes millions of sperm per millilitre of semen to actually achieve the goal of fertilisation.
A “normal” sperm count is about 20 million or more per millilitre of semen. Over 60 per cent of the sperm in each sample should exhibit normal morphology and indicate typical motility – the forward-swimming movement.
Oligospermia – or low sperm count is indicated in simple tests that reveal the concentration of sperm in a given sample quantity. In general, scientists and fertility doctors are noticing a drop in sperm count and motility, which makes it harder for couples to make babies.
Other factors attributed to this include the following:
Anabolic steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to decrease. Use of cocaine or marijuana might reduce the number and quality of your sperm as well.
Overheating the testicles:
Elevated temperatures impair sperm production and function. Although studies are limited and are inconclusive, frequent use of saunas or hot tubs might temporarily impair sperm count.
Sitting for long periods, wearing tight clothing or working on a laptop computer for long stretches of time also might increase the temperature in your scrotum and slightly reduce sperm production.
Drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels and cause decreased sperm production.