Abnormal Sperm – Azoospermia and Oligospermia

Abnormal sperm has a direct effect on pregnancy rates. Here’s an overview of how azoospermia, oligospermia, and asthenospermia and other sperm health problems affect pregnancy. Low sperm count is one of the main causes of fertility issues in couples experiencing difficulty when trying to get pregnant.

Abnormal Sperm Azoospermia and OligospermiaA SpermCheck Fertility Home Sperm Test is an easy-to-use at-home test for determining the concentration of sperm in semen. You’ll know within minutes whether your sperm count is within the normal range. A positive result on this semen test indicates that your sperm count is above 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. A negative result indicates that the count is below the 20 million sperm per milliliter threshold, and further testing by your doctor may be warranted.

Male fertility problems or infertility accounts for about 35% of conception difficulties, female infertility accounts for 35%, and unexplained infertility accounts for the rest. Compared to female fertility issues, it’s a bit easier to determine if sperm problems are causing problems with pregnacy. Sperm are relatively easy to spot and count — with a microscope, of course!

If you think male infertility could be causing problems and you’re not up to talking to the doctor about it, consider taking a home sperm fertility test.

Abnormal Sperm – Azoospermia, Oligospermia, and Asthenospermia

Sperm health includes number of sperm, sperm motility (movement), and morphology (shape and size).

What is Azoospermia?

Azoospermia is the complete absence of sperm in a semen sample, due to a failure in sperm production or a physical obstruction. If an obstruction is causing the sperm problem (obstructive azoospermia), it may be treated in some cases with surgical procedures. If a spermanalysis or a sperm test indicates azoospermia, your doctor will likely pursue follow up tests to determine the cause.

The causes of no sperm or azoospermia could be genetic, lifestyle, illness, or even prescription medications.

What is Oligospermia?

Oligospermia is low sperm count – too few sperm are present in a sample. The World Health Organization has standardized “20 million sperm per/mL” as the threshold for a “normal” or “healthy” sperm count. Depending on how low the sperm count is, oligospermia can in some cases be treated by scheduling intercourse.

You could try to get pregnant by using both ovulation prediction and ensuring sufficient time has passed between intercourse sessions, so sperm counts have time to build up. You could also try dietary and health changes and supplements.

What is Asthenospermia?

Asthenospermia is related to sperm motility or the ability of sperm to move in a normal, progressive fashion. Sperm motility is the “swimming” motion required by sperm to make it to, and fertilize, the ovum. If sperm can’t swim to or penetrate the eggs, they’re “problem sperm.”

If you’re worried about your sperm – or if you already know you have abnormal sperm – read 5 Foods to Increase Sperm Count, Production, and Motility. Food affects your sperm, but may not treat abnormal sperm problems.

What is Abnormal Sperm Morphology?

What is Azoospermia and Oligospermia

Do You Have Abnormal Sperm? Azoospermia and Oligospermia

Abnormal Morphology relates to the formation of sperm, the shape and form of sperm. Sperm should exhibit normal morphological structure, which means that they need to be normally shaped before they can be fully effective.

If you think you’re not getting pregnant because of male fertility issues, talk to your doctor or health care provider about getting a fertility checkup – including a sperm analysis.

For more info on abnormal sperm, read How to Solve Male Fertility Problems, Such as Low Sperm Count.

Abnormal Versus Normal Sperm Health – From the Mayo Clinic

“Normal sperm have an oval head with a long tail. Abnormal sperm have head or tail defects — such as a large or misshapen head or a crooked or double tail. These defects may affect the ability of the sperm to reach and penetrate an egg.

However, having a large percentage of misshapen sperm isn’t uncommon — and it won’t necessarily keep a man from getting his partner pregnant. In fact, a sperm sample isn’t considered out of the normal range unless most of the sperm are abnormally shaped. If pregnancy does occur, having abnormal sperm morphology doesn’t increase the risk of having a child with birth defects.

In addition to sperm shape, a sperm analysis also checks the sperm’s ability to move (motility) and the number of sperm present (sperm count). Motility problems and a low sperm count commonly occur along with abnormal sperm morphology, and can also affect male fertility.” ~ from What Does Abnormal Sperm Morphology Mean?

To learn more about sperm problems and improving sperm health, read How to Increase Low Sperm Count.

I welcome your thoughts on abnormal sperm count, azoospermia, oligospermia, and asthenospermia. I can’t offer advice or medical counseling, but you may find it helpful to share your experience.

FertilAid for Men is a supplement designed to help promote male fertility and improve sperm health. If you’re concerned about male fertility, the supplement might help.


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12 thoughts on “Abnormal Sperm – Azoospermia and Oligospermia”

  1. I did several semen analysis. Everytime I did, the lab. tecchnician said no mortile sperm. I went to an advanced lab and did another test. They found mortile sperm and suggested for IVF? Is that the only way that we can have a child?

  2. hi,
    i am 38 yrs old, planing for a kid frm past 9 yrs..in 2007 i had my last semen analysis done whch indicated 4 milion sperm count…my wife was pregnent 2 times but both time it got aborted due to sum reason..after tht we discontinued the treatment…in between i was on ayurwedic tretment…recently we consulted again 2 a doc she said we will go through iui for tht i hd done AIH(sperm wash) but the pathologist told my semen analysis is zero count..could tht hapen..n the doc told for the doner sperm…could i get my sperm count normal or atleast tht my own sperm can gaurentty preagnancy..in hope 2 get the suggetion as soon as posible..

  3. Hi, my husban and I have been tring to concieve for a little over a year now. But he jus had his sperm count checked, all is good just the heads are large, so is there any thing we could do to, doctor wise or home to get them to go back to normal size, and his case is not genetic, it was from deployment, so if you have any answers please let me know. Thank you.

  4. hi,
    please i need a medical advice,
    my husband is oligospermic, his sperm account was 1.4 million/ml 5 years ago but we took medication which was tamoxifen, anderiol, vitazinc for 3 months and at the end ot the 3 months i found myself pregnant, we repeat the test then it was 28 million/ml now we had aboy 4 years old, we try to repeat what we did before to have another child. when we made the test the sperm account was 2.5 million/ml we went to the dr and took the same medication as before but the count was reduced to 2 million/ml after 3 months, then the dr gave us another course for 3 months it was cidovirone, nolvadex and parlodel after 3 months the sperms count became 3 million / ml
    my question is why my husband responded to the medication 5 years ago and doesn’t respond now???
    we stop medications from 3 months so is his sperm count will decreased till he become azoospermia??
    is our only solution now is to make IVF????
    pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i need ur help please answer me

  5. Hello TS,

    Great question! It sounds like your doctor thinks that his sperm will not grow tails, which is why he’s recommending in vitro fertilization. Does he suggest donor sperm, then?

    I don’t know if your husband’s sperm could eventually grow tails, and I couldn’t find an answer on the internet. But, I do know that it takes 3 months for a sperm to grow and mature in a man’s body. So, a man’s current sperm is the result of his health, environment, and lifestyle 3 months ago.

    I think it’s possible that your husband’s sperm could change over the next couple of years — but I obviously can’t guarantee it! It seems like his sperm has only had 2 life cycles since the reversal of the vasectomy.

    That said, however, a vasectomy doesn’t affect sperm growth and development…so perhaps that’s why your doc suggested IVF.

    If I were you, I’d talk to a second fertility doctor or urologist, just to get a second opinion. Different doctors know and do different things, and it’s always worth shopping around before you decide to try in vitro.

    I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best in getting pregnant! It’s a bit of a blow for both men and women, to find that he has abnormal sperm…but you and he will pull together in love, and figure out your best options for starting your family together.


  6. My hubby had a vaso-vasectomy (reversal) in Jan. 2011. He is 42 and I’m 37. We have been trying for 6 months and he has had 2 semen analysis. The last one the doc said volume is normal. There are sperm in the semen, count low, motility 0. He said that his sperm have no tails…..could they ever form tails? Obviously time is not on our side…due to my age. He told us that our only option is in vitro. Don’t know what to think!

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Abdulqadir,

    The only way to know if you have sperm problems is to take a sperm test, either at home or through your doctor. If you’re not producing sperm, only your doctor can tell you why — he or she needs to do tests to figure out why you’re not producing sperm.

    So, your first step is to take a sperm test to determine whether or not you have sperm problems.