Back to Health A to Z. A low sperm count, also called oligozoospermia, is where a man has fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. Having a low sperm count can make it more difficult to conceive naturally, although successful pregnancies can still occur. Problems with sperm, including a low sperm count and problems with sperm quality, are quite common. They're a factor in around 1 in 3 couples who are struggling to get pregnant.
Normal sperm count: Everything you need to know
Sperm analysis: Uses, procedure, and results
A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health:. According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry AACC , the tests should be conducted at least seven days apart and over the course of two to three months. Sperm counts can vary on a daily basis. Taking an average of the sperm samples can give the most conclusive result. A semen analysis is often recommended when couples are having problems getting pregnant. The test will help a doctor determine if a man is infertile. The analysis will also help determine if low sperm count or sperm dysfunction is the reason behind infertility.
Low sperm count
Home sperm tests measure sperm count — the number of sperm in the fluid semen ejaculated during an orgasm. But sperm count is only one factor in a man's fertility. Home sperm tests require a man to ejaculate into a collection cup. While procedures vary for transferring semen and completing the test, results are typically available in as soon as 10 minutes. The tests work by detecting a protein found only in sperm.