Causes of oligospermia

There are different factors that are involved in the decline of the sperm number and can cause oligospermia. They can be divided into three types of causes, according to where the alteration has developed:

Pre-testicular causes

We refer to those causes related to sperm formation in an indirect way, such as the level of hormones secreted by the pituitary. General health issues are also related to this aspect, such as food habits or smoking and drinking alcohol: they all can alterate the good organism functioning.

Testicular causes

They refer to some alterations connected to the testicles, like cryptorchidism, hydrocele, genital injuries, varicocele; or also to some genetic alterations with a testicular effect, like microdeletions in the Y chromosome.

Post-testicular causes

Even if the sperm is synthesized within the testicles in a correct way, an obstruction can occur and prevent a normal ejaculation. For example, an obstruction in the vas deferens, the absence of these ones, or inflammations in the urethra, which can prevent seminal fluid release.

Reversible or permanent oligospermia?

Oligospermia is usually permanent, whenever the origin of its emergence is:

  • Genetic problems, Y chromosome alterations or an abnormal karyotype.
  • Atrophy of the seminiferous tubules (the part of the testicles where sperm are produced).
  • Related chronic diseases.

We can also talk of reversible oligospermia, when the cause is due to hormonal imbalances, stress levels, high fevers or inflammation of the testicular zone. If the right treatment is followed, sperm values can get back to normal, after few months’ time.

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