5 Symptoms and Signs of Low Sperm Count

On: June 9, 2017
fertility, hormones

5 Symptoms and Signs of Low Sperm Count

Low sperm count can take a toll on your life without realizing it. Do you know the symptoms and signs of low sperm count? Click here for 5 you can’t ignore.

Keyword(s): signs of low sperm count

Struggling to conceive a child can be an extremely frustrating experience as a couple.

Often times, people think that if a woman is not getting pregnant, she is the reason for the fertility issue. However, we must remember that the male plays just as big of a role in conception as the female. For about 1 in 5 infertile couples, the problem lies solely with the man.

And 90 percent of the time, this infertility is due to a low sperm count.

But how do you know if you have a low sperm count?

Keep reading. We’ll cover five symptoms and signs of a low sperm count.

1. Unable to Conceive

The primary sign of a low sperm count is the inability to conceive a child.

If you’ve only been trying for a few months, you don’t need to worry just yet. Typically, a year’s worth of failed attempts is when you should start to be concerned about your sperm count. This is what fertility doctors consider to be a reasonable amount of time when trying to get pregnant.

So, if you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year without success, it may be time to see a doctor to get tested.

2. Hormonal Problems

It is rarely the case, but sometimes low sperm count is caused by hormonal problems.

How do you know if you have a hormonal problem?

Lack of facial hair and lack of muscular definition are two common symptoms of a hormonal problem.

However, if you only have to shave your face once a week, do not automatically assume that you have a low sperm count. Because most likely, you do not. Facial hair deficiency in itself is not a sign of a low count. Facial hair deficiency may indicate a hormonal problem. And in turn, this hormonal problem may cause a low sperm count.

The exact same thing is true for those who lack muscular definition. Don’t freak out just because you are a little bit on the scrawny side. Figure out if there is an underlying hormonal problem first. If there is, only then should you be concerned about your sperm count.

Also, having problems with sexual functions (i.e. low sex drive or difficulty maintaining an erection) may be a sign that you have a hormonal problem that is affecting your sperm count.

3. Deep Voice

Do you speak in falsetto?

Ok, maybe not quite that shrill. But, if your voice falls on the high-pitched side of the spectrum, there’s some good news.

A recent study conducted by the University of Western Australia found that men with low-pitched voices have reduced concentrations of sperm in ejaculation.

The possible connection?

Testosterone deepens a man’s voice. When testosterone levels are too high, they can suppress sperm production.

4. Lifestyle Choices

Are you rocking a spare tire around your gut? Are you feeding that spare tire lots of processed meats?

If so, there’s a chance that your sperm count will be lower.

Researchers at Harvard University recently reported that men who exercised regularly and ate less processed meat and more fish had higher quality sperm as well as a higher count.

They found that men who ate one to three servings of processed meat per day had lower quality sperm than those who ate fewer servings. They also found that men who ate mostly white meat fish, such as cod and halibut, had higher sperm quality. Also, men who ate fatty fish, such as salmon or tuna, had a 34% higher sperm count than those who didn’t eat these fish regularly.

In terms of exercise, researchers found a strong correlation weightlifting and high sperm count. This may be due to the fact that weightlifting increases testosterone and improves insulin sensitivity.

One exercise that didn’t correlate with high sperm count?


Researchers believe a low sperm count amongst cyclists may be caused by the pressure of the bike seat against the scrotum as well as increased scrotum temperatures.

Other lifestyle choices that may lead to a low sperm count include:

  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Eating foods containing pesticides and hormones
  • Eating soy-based food products 
  • Exposing your scrotum area to electromagnetic waves on a regular basis (i.e. keeping your cell phone in your pocket or working with your computer on your lap)
  • Stress- stress can affect hormone balance which in turn can affect sperm count

5. Medical History

We already briefly touched on how sexual dysfunctions may be one of the signs of low sperm count.

However, sexual problems aren’t the only medical sign that something may be wrong.

Here are a few other medical issues that may be a sign of a low sperm count:

  • A history of testicle or prostate problems
  • Pain, swelling, discomfort or a lump in your testicle area
  • Scrotum, groin, testicle or penis surgery

What to Do Next

Luckily, a doctor can help you figure out if you have a low sperm count with a simple test.

As we stated earlier, if you have been trying to get pregnant for over a year with no luck, you both should go and get infertility testing.

There are at-home sperm count tests that you can buy over-the-counter. But for best accuracy, you should go and see a doctor.

A common misconception is that the number of sperm is the only issue males face in terms of infertility. However, there are three main areas that doctors test to decipher whether or not you have healthy sperm that are capable of reproducing. These are:

1. Concentration- In other words, your sperm count. 20 million or more sperm indicate a healthy sperm count.

2. Motility rate- Indicates what percentage of your total sperm are moving forward. 40% or more is a healthy motility rate.

3. Morphology- Indicates what percentage of your sperm are normally shaped. A normal sperm shape consists of an oval head about 5-6 micrometers long and 2.5-3.5 micrometers wide, with a single long tail. A normal morphology range is between 4 and 14%.

Your doctor will help you better understand the results of your sperm test and help you decide where to go from there.

Signs of Low Sperm Count: Summary

Remember, even if you show some signs of a low sperm count, you and your partner should always get tested first.

If you find out that you do in fact have a low sperm count, it is not the end of the world. Sometimes, sperm count can be boosted with the right combination of vitamins, herbs, and supplements. If there is an underlying hormonal

l issue causing the low sperm count, surgery or testosterone replacement therapy may be an option.

If you are unable to boost your sperm count, you may consider looking into IVF or adoption. Whatever the case, talk to your doctor to discuss the best options for yourself and your partner.

Please drop a comment below if you have any questions regarding the signs of low sperm count.

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