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Male Infertility on the Rise: Why Sperm Counts Are Steadily Dropping?

Dr. Samra Amin

2 min read

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Having a low sperm count means that the fluid you ejaculate contains fewer sperms than normal. Consequently, it decreases the chances of the sperm fertilising an egg that could result in pregnancy.

Unfortunately, in the recent times, there has been a decrease in infertility and drop in sperm count in men, not only in the US and Europe, but also in Asian countries—including Pakistan. From 1973 to 2011, the sperm count in Western males has fallen 52.4 percent more.

This steep decline could be linked to many causes, but a single factor or cause has not been isolated yet. Infact, many scientists have varied opinions about what actually could be causing the decline.

Common medical causes of low sperm count:

Medical causes that are associated with low sperm count can include:

  • Infection: some infections can affect sperm production, for example, inflammation of testes or epididymis. Sexually transmitted infections like Gonorrhea may also interfere with sperm production. If you suspect an infection, better get an appointment through oladoc.com while sitting in the comfort of your home.
  • Hormonal imbalance: hormonal dysfunction can result in decreased sperm production.
  • Chromosomal defect
  • Prior surgeries, or a urogenital duct blockage

Other causes of low sperm count:

Apart from medical causes, there can be lifestyle and environmental causes that can lead to low sperm count. There are many researches needed to come up with a conclusive answer as to what is causing this low sperm count all over the world. However, there are some common factors that may affect sperm count. These include:


It is a common cause of low sperm count in men. In Pakistan, smoking was prevalent amongst 25 percent of people who faced the issue of infertility.


Prolonged stress can derange the hormones, thus indirectly affecting sperm count.

Heavy metal exposure:

Lead and other heavy metals may cause low sperm production

Industrial chemical exposure:

Pesticides, solvents and other chemicals that are used in the industry may negatively affect sperm production.

Use of plastic:

Components of plastics can mimic estrogen in their effect thus causing decreased sperm production.

Elevated temperature of testicles:

Testes need a lower temperature than the body to survive. Elevated temperatures can interfere with sperm product, for instance, more frequent use of hot tubs and saunas.

Use of drugs:

Certain medication can impair fertility, e.g. cocaine, marijuana. Other drugs, like steroids that are taken to stimulate muscle growth can cause hormonal imbalance and thus sperm production.

Use of alcohol:

Alcohol impairs testosterone levels in the body and affects sperm production.


Excess fat can mimic the action of estrogen and thus this hormonal imbalance causes decreased production of sperms.


Sperm concentration can be affected by depression.

Infertility in Pakistan:

A meta-analysis published in 2015, showed that there is prevalence of about 78 percent primary and 21 percent secondary infertility in Pakistan. It was also seen that sperm count disorders could possibly be related to socioeconomic development.

Overall, the province highest in sperm disorders was found to be KPK, followed by Sindh and then Punjab. The possible causes of low sperm count seen in this population were: stringent physical activity, smoking, infections, surgeries, as well as drug addiction.

If you are struggling with conditions related to male infertility, consult a medical professional immediately. You can book an appointment with a top urologist in Multan, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Samra Amin - Author Dr. Samra Amin is a PMDC Verified Andrologist/Sexologist based in Lahore. She holds MBBS, MCPS (Family Medicine) degrees and has 15 years of experience. You can seek an appointment with her through oladoc.
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