Written by Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Male Infertility is responsible for 20 - 30 % of all cases of infertility. Of these, 90-95% of male infertility cases are due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. Other conditions like blocks in the reproductive tract, hormonal problems or genetic problems can also cause male infertility but are comparatively less in number.
Since only a single sperm is needed for a pregnancy, it is difficult to estimate a man's infertile status - while one man may be capable of fathering children with a sperm count of less than 10 million, another may not be able to do so even with a high sperm count of over 100 million.
But on the whole, a sperm count of less than 20 million is considered low. In a standard semen analysis, the sperm count is considered normal when it is above 40 million per ml of semen. Of these, at least 50% must show active forwards movement for a pregnancy to occur.
The normal volume of semen in one ejaculate should be 2ml. Less than 1.5 m is considered low volume (hypospermia) and more than 5.5ml is called hyperspermia.
The commonest causes of a low sperm count in Male Infertility are:
The causes of oligospermia is still not clear although a large number of theories have been put forward:
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Failure to deposit sperm in the vagina is an uncommon cause of male infertility, but is sometimes known to occur.
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