Zero sperm count – how to increase?
Conceiving a child may only require a single sperm cell, but it is close to impossible to fertilize an egg with zero sperm cells. Fortunately, some men can increase their sperm count through lifestyle changes while others can find treatment options to help them achieve their dream of parenthood. Here below, you can read about the lifestyle changes that may help you increase your sperm count and the treatment options available for men struggling with azoospermia.
What is zero sperm count?
Sperm count refers to the number of sperm cells in an ejaculate. If you have been diagnosed with zero sperm count, also called azoospermia, it means that no sperm cells have been found in your semen. Men diagnosed with azoospermia have little to no chance of conceiving unless they improve their sperm count or seek help at a fertility clinic.
What causes zero sperm count?
There are many potential causes of zero sperm count. Below, we have made a list of the most common causes of azoospermia:
- Genetics: Genetic flaws can affect many parts of the male reproductive system and cause azoospermia. Some men are not able to produce sperm cells at all, while others cannot transfer the sperm cells from the testicles to the ejaculate without damaging them, thus leading to zero healthy sperm cells in the ejaculate.
- Surgeries or accidents: Some men have been through accidents or diseases where they needed surgery or treatment that may have affected their sperm production. As an example, chemotherapy can affect sperm production negatively.
- Lifestyle factors: An unhealthy lifestyle containing fatty foods, cigarettes, and alcohol will harm your fertility and sperm production. Fortunately, it is possible to improve your lifestyle, thus increasing your sperm count and chances of conceiving.
- Hormonal imbalance: Hormones are an important part of sperm production and the male reproductive system. A hormonal imbalance may lead to a decreased ability to produce sperm.
- Physical conditions: Sperm production could also be affected by physical conditions such as large veins on the testicles which can affect sperm production negatively.
How to increase sperm count from zero?
If you have zero sperm count, it is hard to increase it without help from a doctor. In cases where genetics or varicocele is the cause of the problem, a surgical procedure may be necessary. If a hormonal imbalance is an underlying issue, a doctor can help you find the right supplements to restore your sperm production and increase your sperm count. However, if your zero sperm count is due to lifestyle factors, you may be able to improve it by making certain changes. Avoiding substances such as alcohol and cigarettes, and adopting a healthy and balanced lifestyle, may help increase your sperm count.
If you succeed in increasing your sperm count, you may be interested in following the link to our blog post Tips for getting pregnant with low sperm count.
Treatment options for men with zero sperm count
Often, zero sperm count is caused by an inherited genetic disease or physical problems like varicocele or hormonal imbalance. Below, you can read more about the treatments available for men diagnosed with low or zero sperm count.
Surgical sperm extraction
Some men can produce healthy sperm cells, but their reproductive system is not capable of transporting the healthy sperm cells from the testicles to the ejaculate, resulting in zero sperm cells in the ejaculate. This means that it is possible to extract healthy sperm cells from the testicles through a surgical procedure, also called sperm retrieval (TESE). During sperm retrieval, a small incision is made in the testicles to extract potential healthy sperm cells.
Sperm cells retrieved through a surgical procedure are often used in ICSI treatments where a single sperm cell is injected into the egg, hopefully resulting in fertilization.
Hormonal problems and obstructive causes of azoospermia can often be treated, thus restoring the ability to conceive. Some of the hormones used to treat hormonal problems and obstructive causes are:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
Varicocele is a condition where men have large veins on their testicles that may affect sperm production negatively. Varicocelectomy is a surgical procedure where a fertility doctor uses a microscope to locate and tie off the enlarged veins. This procedure can help men diagnosed with varicocele restore their sperm production. If the varicocelectomy is unsuccessful, an alternative option is to try removing healthy sperm cells through a surgical procedure.
Fertility treatment with donor sperm
If you have attempted to increase your sperm count through surgery, hormonal treatment, or lifestyle changes without success, alternative options such as donor sperm or adoption could be considered. The advantage of choosing a sperm donor, compared to adoption, is that your child has a genetic relation with your partner and potentially any siblings in the future.
If you want to read more about fertility treatment with donor sperm, then follow the link to contact our Customer Care Consultants. You can also follow the button below, to visit our free donor search.