What Causes Male Infertility and How to Treat It?
Male infertility largely depends on the quantity and quality of sperms. If the sperm count is low or the sperm quality is poor, it becomes difficult for the male partner to get his partner pregnant. Other reasons for male infertility are blockages of the ducts carrying the sperms, chronic health issues, injury, and abnormal sperm function etc. This is a real shock for both the partners especially when extending the family is the most discussed topic. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available in the market. You can choose the most suitable treatment after getting the root cause of male infertility diagnosed by a doctor. You need to trust your doctor in order to get the best results with the treatment options and medicines prescribed by your health care provider.
Infertility is a general issue affecting one in five couples where the problem lies with the male partner. As per the estimated values, one in 20 men is dealing with one or the other kind of male infertility. Only one man in 100men shows no sperms at all in his ejaculation fluid. In most of the cases, signs of infertility are absent which makes it pretty difficult to diagnose the condition.
What are the symptoms of male infertility?
The first and foremost sign of male infertility is not being able to get a female partner pregnant. As mentioned earlier, there could be signs or no signs at all. You need to rely on medical tests to detect male infertility. In certain cases, underlying health issues, hormonal imbalance, dilated veins surrounding testicles, conditions which block the ducts carrying the sperms pose as reasons for symptoms of male infertility.
Other than not being able to start parenthood, the other signs of male infertility are:
- Difficulties with the sexual function such as problems while ejaculating, the small volume of ejaculation fluid being discharged, low libido, issues while gaining or keeping an erection
- Pain, swelling or presence of a lump in the testicle area
- Persistent urinary infections
- Unusual breast growth
- Reduced facial or body hair
- Lower sperm count
What causes infertility issues in men?
Male fertility is a complex term. In order to get your female partner pregnant, the following conditions are must to happen.
Healthy sperm production is important. The male reproductive system develops at the age of puberty. One of the testicles needs to grow fully in order to function properly. Alongside, your body must produce enough quantity of male sexual hormone – testosterone to trigger other male hormones and to preserve sperm production.
Sperms need to be present in the semen. Once they are produced by the testicles, sperms need to be carried into the seminal fluid with the help of delicate ducts.
Enough sperms should be present in the semen. Low sperm count is a reason for male infertility.
Sperms should be mobile and they must possess the ability to move.
Let’s look at the medical causes of male infertility.
Infection – Some of the infections can hamper sperm count or sperm health. Some can result in scarring which ultimately causes blockage in the passage of sperm. Inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) or testicles (orchitis), sexually transmitted diseases result in permanent damage to the testicles.
Ejaculation issues – Retrograde ejaculation happens when the semen enters into the bladder at the time of ejaculation. Health issues such as diabetes, spinal cord issues, bladder/prostate/urethra surgery, and medications can lead to retrograde ejaculation.
Varicocele – It is indicated as a swelling of the veins that are involved in draining the testicles. Though the reason why this condition causes male infertility is unknown, it is said that it could be related to an abnormal temperature of the testicles.
Hormonal imbalance – This condition leads to low production of testosterone which is related to male infertility.
Along with medical causes, male infertility is also caused by lifestyle issues such as emotional stress, alcohol abuse, smoking, weight gain.
What are the treatment options for male infertility?
After a proper diagnosis, treatment can be started as per the root cause of male infertility detected. The treatment options include:
A varicocele can be corrected with the help of a surgery. If no sperms are present in the semen, they can directly be retrieved from the testicles.
Antibiotics can be given to treat infections but it does not always correct male infertility. You might need to look for alternative treatment for male infertility.
Hormone replacement therapies can be prescribed to you if hormonal imbalance is the root cause of male infertility.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
It involves retrieving sperms from the testicles and transporting them into the female genitalia or they are used in IVF techniques.