Historically people worried about low sperm count have been faced with the uncomfortable process of going into a clinic as their only option. With the use of at-home testing, it is now more accessible, practical, and approachable to use sperm count as a measure of overall health. This can provide powerful health insights.
As sperm count becomes more recognised as a biomarker of overall health the apparent benefits of easy, private, and accessible at-home testing have grown.
Oligospermia is the term used to describe a low sperm count. Normal sperm counts range from 50 to 100 million sperm per mL. A person’s sperm count is classified as low if it is below 15 million sperm per mL. Most people don’t become aware of issues with their sperm count until they are struggling to conceive with their partner. However, there are some symptoms that may be associated with a low sperm count:
There are a variety of risk factors that can have a negative effect on your sperm count.
Common lifestyle factors can contribute to a low sperm count such as obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, nicotine addiction, diets high in processed food, stress, and drug use. Jobs where people spend long periods of time sitting can be a risk factor.
You may be more at risk of a low sperm count if you have a history of testicular injuries or conditions. There can also be a genetic component. Some possible causes are:
Reproductive health can be affected by exposure to certain environmental elements. For example, people may be at risk if they work with pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, or heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Excessive exposure to radiation from X-rays or other sources can be harmful.
With the availability of convenient at-home sperm count tests it’s never been easier to check your sperm count.
While infertility is often seen as the primary health concern associated with a low sperm count, it is important to look beyond this. Because of the link between someone’s fertility and their overall health there may be powerful insights in testing – even for those not looking to conceive.
Men with low sperm counts are more likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure, and cholesterol issues. A decreased sperm count could even be a signal of serious health issues someone may be experiencing including testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Testing at-home is a great option for those looking for answers, peace of mind, or just wanting to monitor their health and wellbeing.
If you get a low result, always see your doctor or a healthcare professional for diagnosis, advice and further testing.