What is Oligospermy and how is it related to male infertility in Israel?

When talking about male infertility, the most common causes are usually taken into account. However, some alterations are often associated with other diseases and underlying conditions that can lead to the development of further complications, which, if detected early, are feasible to correct or lead to 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 attributed to various factors, including hormonal disorders, testicular issues, or infections. Moreover, it is often associated with other conditions, some of which are 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 refers to the condition in which the veins supplying blood to the testicles become dilated. This dilation can result in elevated testicular temperature, which can have a negative impact on sperm production. While it is more prevalent in one testicle, it can also affect both. If varicocele affects both testicles, it is more likely to be associated with infertility.

Additionally, testicular varicocele can lead to a condition called oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, which is characterized by low-quality spermatozoa in terms of both quantity and quality, including 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.

There are two primary types of male hypogonadism that can be distinguished:

  • Primary hypogonadism: the testes do not function properly due to a problem in the testes themselves. The most common genetic disorder of this type is Klinefelter’s syndrome, which can result in low testosterone levels, reduced muscle mass, poor facial and body hair, and reduced 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 of hypogonadism is determined by the specific type of the condition. Hormonal therapy can be utilized in certain cases to restore testicular function and stimulate increased sperm production, ultimately improving the outlook for fertility.

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 not a direct cause of infertility, but may be associated in 10% of cases, in which it can cause a partial obstruction of the vas deferens, which can reduce the number of sperm 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.

Men with severe oligoteratozoospermia who want to have children will need to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In this treatment, sperm with good shape are selected under the microscope and injected directly into the egg, thus increasing the chances of a healthy embryo.

Are you from Israel? Get an accurate diagnosis for better results

Although these diagnoses may dampen the hopes of men who aspire to have a family, it is essential to understand the positive significance of detecting and addressing these conditions on time. This realization can mark a transformative phase in enhancing fertility and promoting overall health.

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 wish to start a family and experience difficulties in conceiving or know someone who may be suffering from infertility or any complication associated with the symptoms described above, it is vital to contact clinics specialized in Oligospermy, male fertility and assisted gestation, such as Babynova Clinic by Novafem, to receive advice on these issues and be treated as soon as possible.

You may also like...