How to combat Oligospermy? Discover a common cause of male infertility in Cyprus

While discussing male infertility, it is common to address the primary causes. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that certain abnormalities may be associated with underlying conditions or diseases, which can lead to the development of further complications. Identifying these issues at an early stage allows for potential correction or consideration of alternative solutions that may yield better outcomes.

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 refers to the condition wherein one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum before birth. This can give rise to fertility difficulties because the undescended testicles are exposed to elevated temperatures, which can impact the production of sperm.

Cryptorchidism primarily occurs in a single testicle, accounting for approximately 80% of cases, and the left testicle is more commonly affected. Bilateral cryptorchidism, where both testicles are altered, is less common. To prevent fertility challenges, it is recommended that boys with cryptorchidism undergo surgery to descend the testicles into the scrotum before the age of 2 years.

Varicocele

Testicular varicocele is a condition characterized by the enlargement of veins that supply blood to the testicles. This dilation can lead to an increase in testicular temperature, which can adversely affect sperm production. While it is more commonly observed in one testicle, it can also affect both. When varicocele affects both testicles, it is more likely to contribute to 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.

It can certainly improve if properly treated, and surgery is usually the most effective treatment, especially in severe cases.

Hypogonadism and oligospermy: links in reproductive health

Male hypogonadism refers to the condition in which the testicles do not produce an adequate amount of sex hormones, including testosterone. This hormonal imbalance significantly affects sperm production and can lead to 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.
  • Secondary hypogonadism: There is an issue in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands, which are the glands that produce the hormones that stimulate sperm production in the testes.

Treatment of this condition depends on the type of hypogonadism. In some cases, hormonal treatment can help restore testicular function and increase sperm production, leading to improved fertility projection.

Hydrocele

Testicular hydrocele is a condition where fluid builds up around one or both testicles. It can occur either from birth (congenital) or develop later in life (acquired), and it is more prevalent in men who are 40 years of age or older.

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

Oligoteratozoospermia refers to a condition where the concentration of spermatozoa in the semen is low, and the shape of the spermatozoa is abnormal. This term combines two observations from a spermogram: “oligo,” indicating a low sperm concentration (less than 15 million per milliliter), and “terato,” representing a low percentage of sperm with normal morphology (less than 4%). The presence of abnormal sperm morphology can hinder fertilization and potentially affect the development of embryos.

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 Cyprus? 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 recommended to maintain regular general check-ups to not only enhance the likelihood of starting a family but also to prevent the occurrence of these diagnoses, which can have irreversible consequences. These conditions have the potential to impact the health and well-being of individuals.

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.

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