Infertility may be caused by a variety of things, some relating to the male partner and others to the female partner. When experiencing infertility, it's best to speak with a fertility specialist to help pinpoint the problem so that it may be treated effectively. Both partners should speak with the specialist and will likely undergo tests and exams to help determine what may be causing the infertility. One of the more common problems that men have regarding fertility is a low sperm count.
This may be caused by a variety of factors and it's helpful to discuss these possible causes with the specialist. A low sperm count means that the individual ejaculates fewer sperm than what is normal. In many cases, it is considered a low number if there are fewer than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen present. It's pretty simple to understand why ejaculating fewer sperm may reduce one's chances of conceiving. With fewer sperm present, the odds that one will fertilize the egg decline. Of course, this does not mean that it will not happen and as long as sperm are present there is still a chance of conception.
The best treatment for low sperm count will depend on the cause. If a condition known as varicocele is present-this condition is marked by a swapping of the veins draining the testicles-surgery may be used to correct the problem. If there's an infection of the reproductive tract that is hurting sperm production, antibiotics may be prescribed to fight the infection. This may not always improve fertility, however. In some cases, fewer sperm may be caused by hormone levels that are off. When this is the case, hormone treatment and medicines may be used to bring levels back into balance.
There are certain lifestyle adjustments that may be made to help improve sperm count such as switching from briefs to boxers or avoiding long bike rides. When the testicles overheat, as they may when they are closer to the body such as wearing briefs or while bicycling on a hard seat, sperm production may be affected.
Finally, for the treatment of low sperm count or many other male infertility issues, assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization may be used. This procedure involves the combination of sperm and eggs to create an embryo, which is transferred to the uterus where it may develop. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, ICSI, involves the direct injection of a sperm into an egg. This may be used in cases of severe male infertility.