By Zaira Salvador BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 12/05/2018

The treatment of oligospermia depends on what is causing a diminished sperm count in the ejaculate. However, in most cases, the etiology of oligospermia cannot be found, and subsequently applying a specific treatment option is complicated.

There exist natural treatments that can help improve male fertility, as well as hormonal treatments or surgery, as long as the cause of oligospermia is known. One should not that recovering the normal sperm count is difficult in many cases, and for this reason, the only option left to become parents would be In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Natural treatment

Some males have temporary oligospermia due to higher stress levels, fever, or exceptional circumstances. In these cases, recovering an adequate sperm count is possible as long as you follow these tips:

  • Establish a healthier lifestyle
  • Follow a healthier, balanced diet
  • Practice sports regularly
  • Quit toxic habits, such as alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Avoid exposure to environmental toxics

On the other hand, there exist certain natural herbs that have been traditionally used as a natural remedy to improve sperm quality. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of homeopathy has not been scientifically proven to date.

Some of the most common natural remedies for asthenozoospermia are: damiana tea, Asian ginseng supplements, or maca root powder.

Maca root is a plant that grows in central Peru and is taken in combination with other herbs as a tea or as a supplement. It contains high levels of potassium, which triggers cell exchange and enhances the transmission of nerve impulses.

Maca root is beneficial for diminishing oxidative stress levels. Moreover, it contains folic acid (vitamin B6), which fights agains sperm cell aging.

Pharmacological treatment

Other therapeutic options to cure oligospermia are medications based on vitamin or hormone-balancing supplements. As in the case of home remedies, their efficacy has not been scientifically proven. In any case, they can help improve or recover sperm production.

Vitamin supplements
They consists of pills rich in vitamin E, C and/or B6 that contain great amounts of antioxidants, which protect sperm DNA from fragmentation. Androferti® is an example.
Hormone-balancing supplements
For those patient with testosterone deficiency problems or other types of hormone imbalances, these supplements can rebalance hormone levels and cause the testicles to produce sperm with normality again. This can be the solution in some cases of oligospermia.
Clomiphene citrate tablets
This medicine is more used by women with ovulating problems. However, it is also effective in males with hypogonadism, since it stimulates the function of the testicles.

For any of these treatment options to be applied, you need the prescription of a duly qualified urologist. Once you start the treatment, it should be supervised until finished to check if everything goes as expected.

Surgical treatment

In order to perform a surgical procedure to cure oligospermia, discovering the exact cause is crucial. For instance, the presence of some kind of blockage typically requires surgery to solve it.

In short, when it is due to a testicular or post-testicular cause, oligospermia can be treated with surgery. The following are some examples:

These cases are the ones with the best prognosis to increase the sperm count and be able to have children naturally.

Considering seeing a fertility specialist? Don't forget that, in the field of Reproductive Medicine, as in any other medical area, it is crucial that patients rely on the doctors and staff that will help them through their treatment cycle. Logically, conditions vary from clinic to clinic. For this reason, we recommend that you generate your Fertility Report now. It will offer you a list of clinics that have passed our rigorous selection process successfully. Furthermore, the system will make a comparison between the fees and conditions of each clinic so that you can make a better-informed decision.

FAQs from users

What recommendations should I follow to increase my sperm count?

By Zaira Salvador BSc, MSc (embryologist).

It is true that your doctor can give you some tips that may help you increase your sperm count and quality, but actually, miracles do not exist. Oligospermia may be due to anatomical or endocrine problems that cause the man to be unable to produce sperm. Some health recommendations that should be followed by males with low sperm count include:

  • Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and street drug use
  • Practicing regular exercise, since it improves blood flow, increasing the blood supply to the testes and favoring sperm synthesis
  • A healthy, balanced diet, with natural antioxidants present in fruit and vegetables, can improve the survival rate and motility of sperm, preventing oxidation as well
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to diminish stress levels, since stress affects sperm vitality and leads to erectile dysfunction
  • Avoid sauna visits, hot baths, too tight clothes, putting the laptop on your lap, etc. These habits increase scrotal temperature and hinder sperm formation

What is the best treatment for severe oligospermia?

By Zaira Salvador BSc, MSc (embryologist).

For all types of oligospermia, that is, from mild to severe, the treatment to apply depends on the cause that originates a diminished sperm count. If the cause cannot be found and the patient has severe oligospermia, it is likely that he has to undergo IVF to have a baby.

Can acupuncture be used to cure oligospermia?

By Zaira Salvador BSc, MSc (embryologist).

Some investigations have shown that acupuncture might be beneficial for male infertility when it is due to a reduced sperm count, specially in cases of oligospermia due to unexplained causes.

Is there any natural treatment that can cure oligospermia?

By Zaira Salvador BSc, MSc (embryologist).

There exist some natural remedies such as damiana or tribulus terrestris for infusion, Korean ginseng in capsules, Maca root powder, or certain Ayurveda treatments that are believed to improve oligospermia. Some experts state that acupuncture can be helpful as well. However, the natural remedy that best works involves following a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and quitting unhealthy habits such smoking or drinking alcohol.

Can olive oil help with poor sperm quality?

By Zaira Salvador BSc, MSc (embryologist).

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that is rich in oleic acid. If taken in great amounts, it helps destroy and eliminate the presence of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in blood flow, which can help reduce the risk of having a cardiovascular and/or brain disease.

In relation to reproductive health, regular use of olive oil (especially virgin olive oil) along with the elimination of LDL cholesterol boost the arrival of oxygen to the testes. In other words, spermatogenesis will occur in optimum conditions.

Suggested for you

If you want to get the details of what causes oligozoospermia before trying to find the best treatment option, visit this post: What Causes Oligospermia?

In case you are unable to recover sperm production with the above mentioned treatment options, you may have no alternative but to undergo a fertility treatment to become parents. Continue reading: Achieving Pregnancy with Oligozoospermia.

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References

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Foresta C, Selice R, Ferlin A, Garolla A. Recombinant FSH in the treatment of oligozoospermia. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009;9(5):659-66.

Homonnai ZT, Yavetz H, Yogev L, Rotem R, Paz GF. Clomiphene citrate treatment in oligozoospermia: comparison between two regimens of low-dose treatment. Fertil Steril. 1988;50(5):801-4.

Li J, Hu Y, Zhang Q, Ma B, Wu Z, Wang Y, Sun J, Zhu J, Ying H, Ouyang P. Strontium fructose 1, 6-diphosphate alleviate cyclophosphamide-induced oligozoospermia by improving antioxidant and inhibiting testicular apoptosis via FAS/FASL pathway. Andrologia. 2015;47(9):995-1003.

Lunglmayr G. Potentialities and limitations of endocrine treatment in idiopathic oligozoospermia. Acta Eur Fertil. 1983;14(6):401-4.

McLachlan RI. Approach to the patient with oligozoospermia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(3):873-80.

Niederberger C. Re: Clinical outcome of microsurgical varicocelectomy in infertile men with severe oligozoospermia. J Urol. 2015;193(1):255.

Sermondade N, Faure C, Fezeu L, Lévy R, Czernichow S; Obesity-Fertility Collaborative Group. Obesity and increased risk for oligozoospermia and azoospermia. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(5):440-442.

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Authors and contributors

 Zaira Salvador
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). Embryologist specializing in Assisted Procreation, with a Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). More information
License: 3185-CV
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