ZocdocAnswersIs a low sperm count or infertility a permanent problem for men?

Question

Is a low sperm count or infertility a permanent problem for men?

I'm 29 years old and have been trying to have a baby with my husband for a year now. The doctor told him he has a low sperm count. Could this lead to infertility or could his sperm count improve at a later time? Is this just a permanent problem?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you are having problems becoming pregnant. Nearly half of cases of infertility are caused by problems with the male's sperm, so I am not surprised to hear that your doctor has told your husband that he has a low sperm count. Low sperm count, or male infertility, can be caused by three different types of factors, pre-testicular factors, testicular factors, or post-testicular factors. Pre-testicular factors are environmental and medical conditions outside the testicle that impact sperm production. Testicular factors are problems with the testicle itself, and post testicular factors are problems with sperm exiting. A thorough medical evaluation by a fertility specialist is required to identify which problem your husband has. Pre-testicular factors can often be treated. For example, avoiding sperm damaging medications, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and avoiding strenuous activities like bicycle riding can help. In other words, pre-testicular factors are often not permanent but rather curable when the cause is identified. Testicular and post testicular factors are much harder to treat, however. Often, men whose infertility stems from these causes will need an invasive fertility method in order to conceive. Your fertility doctor can help work you through these various potential problems and treatment options.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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