Oligoastenoteratozoospermia is a seminal alteration in which the concentration, the motility and the morphology of the spermatozoa are lower than the ones needed to achieve natural pregnancy without any external help.
The sperm analysis is a test that allows the experts to analize the spermatozoa present in the sperm. Not all the sperm are spermatozoa, but it is a vital component when pregnancy is wanted.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the limit values to achieve pregnancy are 15 million spermatozoa/ml, the percentage of motile spermatozoa 40% and the spermatozoa with normal morphology rate higher than 4%. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to achieve pregnancy if the levels are slightly inferior to the limit, but the chances decrease significantly.
Causes of oligoastenoteratozoospermia
The formation of the spermatozoa takes place in the testicles, and every cycle of formation of the spermatozoa lasts approximately 3 months. The cells previous to the spermatozoa can be found inside the seminiferous tubules, and, due to a series of complex processes, they will divide their cores and cellular content, until they become the so characteristic long cells that are the spermatozoa as we know them.
The causes that provoke a reduced quality of the spermatozoa may be due to hormonal or environmental factors, congenital problems in the formation of the testicle or genetic problems, which may affect the formation of the spermatozoa at any moment of the process. Nowadays, apart from some hormonal alterations that can be amended, an alteration of the spermatozoa cannot be corrected, but there are tools to select the best spermatozoa with the best odds of achieving pregnancy.
Treatment of oligoastenoteratozoospermia
As we have said before, unless a hormonal problem is detected, a varicocele that could affect the spermatozoa production, or any obstruction, the option to solve an oligoastenoteratozoospermia would be turning to fertility clinics.
If the man suffers from oligoastenoteratozoospermia, thanks to ICSI the best spermatozoa can be selected. A testicle biopsy could be carried out, if the suspicion of an obstruction of the vasa deferentia arose.
There are many vitamin supplements, medication and natural remedies that can help improve the sperm. However, a healthy way of life is important: a balanced diet and exercise. If there’s a lack of any essential nutrient, it can affect the quality of spermatozoa, but many times the cause of the problem is unknown. The best is turning to fertility clinics if pregnancy has not been achieved after one year trying, or if we know that there are several parameters under the reference values.