Low sperm count means that the fluid semen you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm count is also called oligospermia ol-ih-go-SPUR-me-uh. A complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. Your sperm count is considered lower than normal if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Having a low sperm count decreases the odds that one of your sperm will fertilize your partner's egg, resulting in pregnancy. Nonetheless, many men who have a low sperm count are still able to father a child.
Though less common than anatomic causes of infertility, hormone imbalances are often the cause of fertility issues in men with abnormal semen analyses. A basic hormone test for male infertility will measure Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and Testosterone, two keys to sperm production. If further testing is needed based on these results, your doctor may evaluate your Luteinizing Hormone LH , Prolactin PRL , and thyroid hormones levels. Because your hormone levels fluctuate from high to low throughout the day, timing of the hormone test for male infertility is important. Testosterone naturally peaks in the morning, so a morning blood test will be important to accurately measure your hormone levels.
Back to Health A to Z. A low sperm count, also called oligozoospermia, is where a man has fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. Having a low sperm count can make it more difficult to conceive naturally, although successful pregnancies can still occur. Problems with sperm, including a low sperm count and problems with sperm quality, are quite common.