Medical Q&As

Low sperm count - remedy?

My husband has been told that his abnormal sperm count is too low for us to achieve pregnancy. Is there any treatment to bring this count higher?

The normal volume of semen ranges from 1.5 to 5.0 millilitre per ejaculation and the normal sperm count ranges from 20 to 150 million sperm per millilitre. The shape and mobility of the sperm are also important considerations when assessing infertility in the male. Many cases of male infertility occur for no known reason, which makes it very difficult and frustrating to deal with the problem. Put simply, if you donít know what is causing the problem it is difficult to offer a solution. If a low sperm count is a result of testicular failure it is usually not possible to increase the output of sperm. However, new techniques of assisted reproduction offer hope. ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is a relatively new technique that can be successful with extremely low sperm counts. The technique involves injecting a sperm into a harvested ovum. This procedure is conducted in a laboratory and if fertilisation is successful the fertilised egg can be inserted in the womanís womb within the following 72 hours. This technique has been successful in situations where men have very low sperm counts and has even been successfully conducted where sperm have been recovered from the epididymis. One sperm is all that is required for the specialist to attempt the procedure.