Tulsa Fertility Center Addresses the Connection between Low Sperm and Infertility
Infertility impacts 1 in 8 couples in this country. Often, people look at this condition as a female issue; however, one-third of cases are related to male factor infertility. At Tulsa Fertility Center, Dr. Shauna McKinney and Dr. Stanley Prough thoroughly evaluate patients to identify and treat common causes of infertility. If the problem stems from male factor infertility, Tulsa Fertility Center can offer options to help you conceive a child.
The Basics of Male Infertility
Just as women can experience problems conceiving for a variety of factors, the male partner may have trouble because of anatomical blockages, medical conditions, ejaculatory dysfunction or congenital abnormalities. Low sperm count can also contribute to male factor infertility. Determining the causes of infertility allows your fertility specialist to recommend the appropriate treatment course.
Assessing Male Factor Infertility
To begin the process of identifying the causes of female and male infertility, our fertility doctors recommend a full evaluation, which may include a physical exam. A semen analysis for the male partner is always done. At Tulsa Fertility Center, Dr. Prough provides specialized assessments and treatments for male infertility.
For the semen analysis, the male partner will provide a sample. The semen analysis looks at basic characteristics:
- Shape (morphology)
- Forward motion (motility)
- Sperm counteristics of the sperm, including:
Understanding Sperm Count Numbers
The normal range for a semen specimen is 20 to 150 million sperm per milliliter. When a man produces less than 20 million sperm/ml, these levels indicate a low sperm count called oligospermia. In some cases, the assessment will reveal no sperm at all, and that condition is referred to as azoospermia.
Causes of Low Sperm Count
For adequate sperm production, a man must have normal functioning of the testicles (testes) as well as balance in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, the parts of the brain responsible for producing the hormones that trigger sperm production. After the testicles produce sperm, they travel through delicate tubes to mix with seminal fluid and then ejaculate out of the penis.
Low sperm count can occur because of issues such as:
• Testicular Hypofunction
• Hormone dysfunction
• Ejaculatory dysfunction
• Varicocele (a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle)
• Exogenous testosterone
• Chromosome abnormalities
Treating Low Sperm Count
Once Tulsa Fertility Center receives the test results from the andrology lab, your physician will review the results with you and your partner to discuss treatment options. Hormone therapy may address some of the issues responsible for low sperm count. If these actions are not successful or will not treat the problem, Dr. McKinney or Dr. Prough may suggest assisted reproductive technologies such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, ICSI in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization, IVF.
Visit Tulsa Fertility Center for Treatment
If you are frustrated by trying to get pregnant without success, contact our fertility clinic. Our team has the skills and experience to diagnose and solve infertility problems, including low sperm count. Let us help make your parenting goals a reality with advanced fertility treatment.