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Dealing with Male Infertility

Prague Medical Institute / Blog  / Dealing with Male Infertility

Dealing with Male Infertility

 Though it can take a while, more than 80% couples are likely to get pregnant within a year of having regular, unprotected sex. Most of the other couples are likely to do so within two years. However, this doesn’t happen with almost 1 in 7 couples. Until quite recently, issues with fertility were usually assumed to be a woman’s problem and infertility treatments also mostly at all times revolved around the women only. Nowadays, research has proven that both the groups (male and female) are diagnosed with infertility, and the remaining is attributed to a combination of both female and male factors and/ or unexplained causes. Hence, it is essential to consider fertility of both partners, if you and your partner are facing difficulties in conceiving.

However, with research and advancement in the medical field, most people are getting aware of male fertility issues, gradually. To understand male infertility problems and how far fertility treatments for males have come, let us have a look at some of the common causes, and tests and treatment options available.

 Male Infertility- Causes

  • Hormone imbalances/disorders
  • Genetic causes
  • Injury to the groin area
  • Past medical/radiation treatment, previous surgeries like vasectomy
  • Previous infections, urinary tract infections, STDs, etc.
  • Exposure to radiation/poisonous chemicals
  • Issues in the testicles, testicular trauma, etc.
  • Lifestyle: excessive alcohol, obesity, smoking, recreational drugs, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, etc.

Male Fertility- Assessment

The diagnosis process of a man includes the patient’s overview, medical history, and physical examination. The results provide insights about contributing factors. The next step is usually a test. Your specialist will ask to do a semen analysis. In this test, a semen sample is evaluated to check the count, morphology (health, shape, and size) and motility (ability to swim) of sperms. Male infertility manifests as problems with the process of ejaculation or with the sperm. These issues can take many forms, but the most common problems seen by fertility specialists include:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Azoospermia- absence of sperm
  • Oligospermia: low sperm count
  • Poor sperm morphology: sperm have abnormal shapes
  • Poor sperm motility: sperm might move slowly
  • Positive sperm antibodies
  • Varicocele

Male Infertility: Treatments

The way specialists treat male infertility varies from man to man, as infertility issues in men are different. While some cases of male infertility can be treated just with a simple lifestyle change like dietary changes or to quit smoking etc., sometimes needs a hormonal treatments or IUI, etc. There are numerous methods of treating male infertility depending on the source of the cause. In the case of a physical issues like a varicocele, a blockage or a previous vasectomy, surgical solutions may be suggested such as Vasectomy reversal, Ejaculatory duct resection or Varicocele repair.

  • Hormone treatment is recommended to increase sperm count.
  • IVF (In vitro fertilization): this is a process of extracting female egg, retrieving sperm sample and combining them together in the laboratory to fertilize. The fertilized egg is then placed back into the woman’s uterus.
  • ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection): If there is significantly low sperm count or abnormal morphology, ICSI together with IVF is suggested, where a single sperm is injected into an egg using fine micromanipulation equipment in the laboratory, and then it is placed back into the woman’s uterus.
  • Testicular biopsy is suggested in case of Azoospermia (absence of sperm in the ejaculate).

Talk to your specialist about the cost, success rate, side effects, etc. associated with the treatment suggested. Always keep in mind that infertility in men can be treated and cured like any other health disorder. It never means that your masculinity is at stake. Stay fit physically and mentally, and you can surely fight infertility. Getting tested might make you feel awkward; however, detecting male fertility problems as early as possible can mean faster treatment and a successful pregnancy.

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