Certain conditions may be linked with a low or absent
sperm count. These conditions include
Klinefelter syndrome, radiation treatment to the
testicles, and diseases that can cause shrinking
(atrophy) of the testicles (such as
If a low sperm count or a high
percentage of abnormal sperm is found, more testing may be done. Other
tests may include measuring hormones, such as
luteinizing hormone (LH),
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), or
prolactin. A small sample (biopsy) of the
testicles may need to be checked if the sperm count or motility
is extremely low.
What Affects the Test
You may not be able to
have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:
- You take medicines such as cimetidine (Tagamet), male
or female hormones (testosterone,
estrogen), sulfasalazine, nitrofurantoin, or some
- You use caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or tobacco.
- You use herbal medicines, such as St. John's wort or
high doses of echinacea.
- Your semen sample gets cold. The sperm
motility value will be low and not accurate if the semen sample gets
- You are exposed to radiation, some chemicals (such as certain
pesticides or spermicides), or prolonged heat.
- Your semen sample is
incomplete. This is more common if a sample is collected by
ways other than masturbation.
- You have not ejaculated for several days.
This may affect the semen volume.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 30, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.