Complete guide to Oligospermy in United Kingdom: diagnosis, treatment and other conditions

When discussing male infertility, the focus is often on the most common causes. However, it is important to consider that certain abnormalities may be linked to other underlying conditions or diseases, which can potentially give rise to additional complications. Early detection of these issues offers the opportunity for correction or exploration of more effective alternative solutions.

Oligospermy is one of the prevalent and consequential conditions that can impede conception in males. It is characterized by a reduced sperm count in the semen. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), a man is considered to have oligospermy if his sperm concentration is less than 15 million spermatozoa per milliliter.

Oligospermy can be caused by various diseases, such as hormonal disorders, testicular problems or infections. In many cases, Oligospermy is associated with other conditions, such as those described below:

Cryptorchidism: a condition associated with oligospermy

Cryptorchidism is a condition characterized by the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum before birth. This condition can lead to fertility challenges since the undescended testicles are exposed to higher temperatures, which can adversely affect sperm production.

Cryptorchidism is most common in a single testicle (80%) and the left testicle is the most affected. Bilateral cryptorchidism is less common. To prevent fertility difficulties, boys with cryptorchidism need to have surgery to descend the testicles before the age of 2 years.

Varicocele

Testicular varicocele is a condition that causes dilation of the veins supplying the testicles. This can cause an elevation of testicular temperature, which can impact sperm production. It is most common in one testicle, but can also influence both. If it influences both testicles, it is more likely to cause infertility.

It can also cause oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, which is a condition in which the spermatozoa are of low quality, both in number and in motility and morphology.

With appropriate treatment, oligoasthenoteratozoospermia caused by testicular varicocele can often show improvement. In severe cases, surgery is typically considered the most effective treatment option.

Hypogonadism and oligospermy: links in reproductive health

Male hypogonadism is a condition characterized by insufficient production of sex hormones, including testosterone, by the testicles. This condition has a direct impact on sperm production and can result in infertility.

Male hypogonadism can be divided into two main types:

  • Primary hypogonadism occurs when the testes are unable to function properly due to internal issues. A well-known genetic disorder associated with this type is Klinefelter’s syndrome, which often leads to low testosterone levels, diminished muscle mass, limited facial and body hair growth, and decreased sperm production.
  • In cases of secondary hypogonadism, the issue lies in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands, which are responsible for producing the hormones that stimulate the testes to produce sperm.

The treatment approach for hypogonadism varies depending on the type of the condition. In certain cases, hormonal treatment can be employed to restore testicular function and enhance sperm production, thereby increasing the chances of improved fertility.

Hydrocele

Testicular hydrocele is a condition that causes fluid to accumulate around one or both testicles. It can be congenital or acquired, and is more common in men over 40 years of age.

Hydrocele is generally not a direct cause of infertility, although it may be associated with infertility in around 10% of cases. In these instances, it can lead to a partial obstruction of the vas deferens, potentially resulting in a decreased sperm count in the semen.

Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia

Oligotherotherozoospermia is a condition in which the concentration of spermatozoa in the semen is low and the shape of the spermatozoa is abnormal. This term brings together two spermogram findings, “Oligo” which refers to a low sperm concentration (less than 15 million x ML), and “terato” refers to a low concentration of normal shaped sperm (less than 4%). Abnormalities in sperm shape hinder fertilization and may also affect embryo development.

In cases of severe oligoteratozoospermia, men who wish to have children often undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). During this procedure, sperm with normal morphology are carefully chosen under microscopic guidance and directly injected into the egg. By employing this method, the chances of obtaining a viable embryo are significantly increased.

Are you from United Kingdom? Get an accurate diagnosis for better results

While receiving any of these diagnoses may initially dishearten men in their pursuit of starting a family, it is crucial to acknowledge the positive aspect of identifying these conditions early for timely treatment. This recognition can serve as a pivotal moment in improving fertility and overall well-being.

It is advisable to keep up to date with general check-ups, not only to increase the chances of being able to start a family, but also to avoid these diagnoses that can lead to irreversible consequences. These diagnoses can compromise the health and well-being of patients.

If you are aspiring to start a family but are encountering difficulties in conception or are aware of someone facing infertility or related complications, it is essential to reach out to specialized clinics that specialize in oligospermy, male fertility, and assisted reproduction, such as Babynova Clinic by Novafem. Seeking advice and treatment from these clinics at the earliest opportunity can make a significant difference in addressing these issues.

You may also like...