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  • Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, or OAT, is a condition that includes oligozoospermia (low number of sperm), asthenozoospermia (poor sperm movement), and teratozoospermia (abnormal sperm shape). It is the most common cause of male subfertility. Subfertility is a condition where a man has been unable to get a woman pregnant after one year of unprotected regular sex. The causes of OAT include genetics, infections, hormonal imbalance, a varicocele, and the use of certain drugs. Other causes include problems with the immune system, smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs. The male reproductive system includes the testicles, prostate, penis, scrotum, vas deferens, epididymis, and seminal ducts. Each testicle inside the scrotum produces sperm.
  • Signs and symptoms include being unable to produce a child, and increased body hair and breast tissue. A whitish to yellowish discharge from the penis may be seen. A mass or swelling on the scrotum that feels like a bag of worms may also be present. A complete physical, reproductive, and sexual health history may be needed to diagnose OAT. Diagnostic tests may include semen and sperm analysis, blood tests, a scrotal ultrasound, spermatic venography, and genetic screening. Treatment may include medicines, sperm extraction, surgery to remove a varicocele, and percutaneous embolization. With treatment, such as medicine and sperm extraction, your infertility may be resolved and your partner may conceive.



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Bathing with stitches:

Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.

Eat healthy foods:

Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.


  • Avoid pesticides: Chemicals, such as pesticides, may lower your sperm count.
  • Have frequent sex: Frequent sex increases the number of healthy sperm.
  • Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol decreases sperm production. It is found in beer, wine, liquor, such as vodka and whiskey, and in other adult drinks.
  • Stop smoking: Nicotine may affect the condition of the semen.
  • Wear appropriate clothes and avoid hot baths: Heat decreases sperm production. Wearing underwear, such as briefs, keeps testicles close to the body. This warms up the testicles and may decrease sperm production. Underwear, such as boxers, do not keep testicles as close to the body.

For more information:

Having oligoasthenoteratozoospermia may be hard for you. You and those close to you may feel angry, depressed, or frightened. These are normal feelings. Talk to your caregivers, family, or friends about your feelings. Contact the following for more information:

  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
    1209 Montgomery Highway
    Birmingham , AL 35216-2809
    Phone: 1- 205 - 978-5000
    Web Address:


  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills or feel weak and achy.
  • You see some changes in your body, such as increased body fat, body hair, or breast tissue.
  • You have pain in the groin area that does not go away.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.


  • Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • You feel very sad and depressed, or you want to harm yourself or someone else.
  • You feel very full and cannot burp or vomit (throw up).
  • You have an abnormal discharge from your penis.
  • You have pus or a foul-smelling odor coming from your incision.
  • You have severe (bad) chest or shoulder pain and trouble breathing all of a sudden.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (Discharge Care)

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