Any health issue in a man that lowers his chances of getting his female partner pregnant is described as male infertility. The infertility in man can be one of the serious challenges a man can encounter. For some, it can be devastating. This is because the necessity of reproduction is one of the few things on which our society agree. Not being able to father a child can make a man feel like he’s failing at one of his most primal responsibilities.
There are many causes for infertility in men and women and when the problem lies with the male partner it is referred to as male infertility. In over a third of infertility cases, the problem is with the man. This is most often due to problems with his sperm production or with sperm delivery. This is because a man’s fertility generally relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm.
If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low, if the sperm are of a poor quality, or if there is a blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm, it will be difficult, and sometimes impossible, for him to cause a pregnancy. Also, illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility.
What happen under normal condition?
As a male, to get your partner pregnant, you must produce healthy sperm. Once sperm are produced in the testicles, delicate tubes transport them until they mix with semen and are ejaculated out of the penis. There is also a need to be enough sperm in the semen. A low sperm count is fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen or fewer than 39 million per ejaculate and reduce your chance to get her pregnant. Lastly, the sperm must be functional and able to move. If the movement (motility) or function of your sperm is abnormal, the sperm may not be able to reach your partner’s egg.
Symptoms of male Infertility
The major symptom of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. However, medical tests are needed to find out if a man is infertile because there are no obvious signs of infertility. Intercourse, erections and ejaculation will usually happen without difficulty. The quantity and appearance of the ejaculated semen generally appears normal to the naked eye.
Other signs and symptoms associated with male infertility include inability to perform sexual function properly, these include difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection also known as erectile dysfunction. Another symptom is decreased in facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality.
Also when someone is experiencing pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area, inability to smell and abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia). Try to see a doctor if you have been unable to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or sooner if you have any of the above symptoms.
Causes of male Infertility
Problems with male fertility is attached to the making of mature, healthy sperm that can travel and can be caused by a number of health issues and medical treatments. Certain medications can change sperm production, function and delivery. These medications are most often given to treat health problems like arthritis, depression, digestive problems, infections, high blood pressure and cancer
Overexposure to certain environmental elements such as heat, toxins and chemicals can reduce sperm production or sperm function and this also lead to infertility in men. Some other causes of male infertility include drug use, alcohol use, tobacco smoking, emotional stress, depression, and sometimes obesity.
The most common problems are with making and growing sperm. Sperm may not grow fully, be oddly shaped, not move the right way. It may be made in very low numbers (oligospermia), not be made at all (azoospermia). Other causes of low sperm numbers include long-term sickness (such as kidney failure), childhood infections (such as mumps), and chromosome or hormone problems (such as low testosterone).
Prevention of Male infertility
There are actions that men can take to decrease the possibility of infertility. However, there is usually nothing that can be done to prevent male infertility caused by genetic problems or illness. Some of the action that can be taken are avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, illicit drugs, radiation when possible, exposure to toxic substances, heavy or frequent use of alcohol, and long, hot baths, hot tubs or saunas. Others include observing good personal hygiene and health practices and to also wear loose-fitting underwear.
Diagnosis of Male infertility
Diagnosis of infertility in male starts with a full medical history regarding potential contributing factors and physical examination. The doctor or health care provider may also want to do blood work and semen tests.
Your medical history required your doctor to know about anything that might lower your fertility. And also to ask questions about any inherited conditions, chronic health problems, illnesses, injuries or surgeries that could affect fertility. Your doctor might also ask about your sexual habits and about your sexual development during puberty.
Semen analysis is a routine lab test. It helps show the cause of male infertility. The test is most often done twice. Semen samples can be obtained in a couple of different ways into a sterile cup. The semen sample is studied. It can be checked for things that help or hurt conception (fertilization).
Experts then assess your sperm count, their shape, movement, and other variables. If your sperm analysis is normal, your doctor will likely recommend thorough testing of your female partner before conducting any more male infertility tests.
Treatment of Male infertility
Infertility treatment depends on what is causing infertility. Even if an exact cause isn’t clear, your doctor might be able to recommend treatments that will result in conception. No treatments can improve the quality of a man’s sperm. However, various techniques can increase the odds of conception using the existing sperm quality.
Many problems can be fixed with drugs or surgery. This would allow conception through normal sex. Many men have sufficient sperm to fertilise their partner’s eggs in a test tube, even if they are unable to do so during sexual intercourse. In most cases, the couple can be helped with assisted reproductive technologies (ART). ART do not cure or treat the cause of infertility but they can help couples achieve a pregnancy, even if the man’s sperm count is very low.
Some of the treatments for male infertility are:
- Treatments for sexual intercourse problems,
- Treating infections,
- Hormone treatments and medications, to help increase sperm production,
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Happily, many couples treated for infertility are able to have babies.
Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. If you suspect you are infertile, see your doctor. There are tests that may tell if you have fertility problems.