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Low Sperm Count and Poor Sperm Health

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Low sperm count – known as oligospermia – occurs when a man’s semen (fluid ejaculated from the penis) contains fewer sperm than is typical. A man is considered to have low sperm count if he has fewer than 15 million sperm per millimeter of semen. Having a low sperm count does not necessarily mean that a man will not be able to impregnate a woman, but it may make it more difficult.

Factors that may contribute to a low sperm count are:

  • Abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
  • Severe mumps infection after puberty
  • Hernia repair surgery
  • Hormone disorder
  • Exposure to poisons or radiation
  • Blockage caused by a prior infection
  • Regularly wearing very tight underwear
  • Prior injury to the groin area
Symptoms of a low sperm count include:
  • Decreased facial or body hair (a sign of a chromosome or hormone problem)
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Inability to impregnate a woman (infertility)
  • Low sex drive
  • Pain, swelling, or a lump in the testicle area

A man’s sperm may be considered to be in “poor health” or abnormal for two main reasons: an unusually short life span and/or low motility (difficulty “swimming”).

Poor sperm health may be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Abnormally developed testicles
  • Inflammation of the testicles
  • Swollen veins in the scrotum (pouch of skin that holds the testicles)

The main symptom of poor sperm health is infertility. Most men don’t realize they have poor sperm health until they are trying to impregnate a woman.

Why Choose UHealth?

A comprehensive approach to fertility. Our closely-knit team of experienced professionals – including female and male fertility specialists, acupuncturists, and physicians with special expertise in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, endometriosis, and hormonal imbalances – work together to ensure the health of you and your baby. 

High pregnancy rates. We have some of the highest pregnancy rates in not only South Florida, but in the entire United States. Our success stories include even the most challenging cases. 

Academic medical center expertise. Faculty members at the Miller School of Medicine, a nationally recognized institution, currently conduct nearly 2,000 research projects in science and clinical care in a variety of fields. Our emphasis on research and innovation ensures you receive the most sophisticated diagnostic tests and advanced fertility treatments available. 

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a procedure used in cases of male infertility or unexplained infertility. A single sperm cell is isolated and injected into a mature egg on the day of retrieval using microsurgical instruments. The eggs are checked the following day for evidence of normal fertilization, followed by an embryo transfer.

  • In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

    IVF refers to the creation of embryos in a laboratory setting by placing sperm and eggs in a culture dish, and then transferring them to the uterus.

  • Low-Dose Stimulation IVF (Natural IVF)

    In some cases, you may be a candidate to undergo non-stimulated or low-dose stimulation IVF, which is an alternative to traditional IVF cycles that require a larger dose of medication.

  • Assisted Hatching*

    Assisted hatching is a procedure performed in certain cases on embryos before implantation to enhance the potential of the embryo to establish pregnancy. It is a laboratory procedure that involves the creation of an artificial opening in the zona pellucida (the glycoprotein coating or “shell” surrounding the embryo), allowing it to “hatch” or break out from the zona pellucida so it can successfully attach itself to the uterine lining. Assisted hatching is only used in specific instances including a thick zona pellucida or prior multiple IVF failures. In these cases, assisted hatching can improve the rate of embryo implantation and successful pregnancy.

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

    IUI, also known as artificial insemination – is a simple, lower cost fertility treatment that can be highly effective, especially when combined with fertility drugs, such as Clomid or injectable FSH medication. This procedure works by identifying the most motile (quality) sperm from a semen sample. Prepared sperm are placed directly into the uterus through a thin catheter (tube), bypassing the cervix. 

    IUI is used when a semen analysis shows the male partner is sub-fertile, if they have ejaculatory problems, or when the woman has decreased or absent cervical mucus. This procedure can be performed with donor sperm in the absence of a partner or if the man is infertile. IUI is an in-office procedure.

     

Tests

  • Physical Examination

    A complete physical examination (including testing for infection) will be necessary.

  • Medical and Sexual History

    Your doctor evaluates all possible physical causes of infertility and if sexual intercourse has been appropriately timed.

  • Semen Analysis

    In this test, the man provides a semen sample via masturbation. Then, the sample is analyzed and evaluated in the laboratory for the sperm count, motility (forward movement), shape, and quantity. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a normal ejaculate contains over 20 million sperm per milliliter of liquid, at least 25 percent of the sperm should be moving forward, and at least 30 percent of sperm should have normal shapes.

    *This procedure is considered experimental by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network. Please contact your insurance provider for details regarding your specific fertility benefits.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care