Male infertility is defined as a man’s inability to conceive a child with a fertile woman. In humans, it affects about 1 in 20 men.
Male infertility is caused by a variety of factors, including low sperm count, sperm defects, and hormonal problems. Treatment options include medication, surgery, and assisted reproduction.
It is often seen as a taboo topic, but it’s important to talk about it as it affects many men and their families, and it can be very difficult to deal with.
If you or someone you know is dealing with male infertility, this blog is for you. It contains everything you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for male infertility.
What Is Male Infertility?
Male infertility is a man’s inability to father a child. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including low sperm count, poor sperm quality, anatomic problems, health problems, or a combination of these factors.
Symptoms Of Male Infertility
There are many possible symptoms of male infertility, but not all men who are infertile will experience symptoms.
Some men with fertility problems will have no obvious signs of infertility, while others may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Azoospermia (no sperm in the ejaculate)
- Oligospermia (low sperm count)
- Asthenozoospermia (poorly motile sperm)
- Teratozoospermia (abnormal sperm morphology)
- Varicocele (enlarged veins in the testicle)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Problems with ejaculation
- Low levels of testosterone
- Changes in libido
Causes Of Male infertility
Several biological and environmental variables may affect your fertility. Some of the noteworthy causes of male infertility are-
Azoospermia is a medical condition in which a man does not have any sperm in his semen. It is the most common cause of male infertility, accounting for about 50% of all cases.
There are many possible causes of azoospermia, including genetic defects, infections, hormone imbalances, and blockages in the reproductive tract.
Oligospermia is a medical condition that affects a man’s sperm count. A man with oligospermia has a lower-than-normal sperm count, which can make it difficult for him to conceive a child.
There are several possible causes of oligospermia, including hormonal imbalances, genetic disorders, and infections.
Several genetic diseases can cause male infertility. One of the most common is Klinefelter syndrome, which affects one in every 500 to 600 males.
Klinefelter syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, and it can lead to a variety of problems, including lower testosterone levels and reduced sperm production.
Another genetic disease that can cause male infertility is Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.
It is caused by a mutation in the CFTR gene, and it can lead to problems with sperm production.
To understand how malformed sperm cause male infertility, it is first necessary to understand the anatomy of the sperm cell.
The sperm cell is made up of three main parts: the head, the midpiece, and the tail. The head of the sperm cell contains the nucleus, which is filled with genetic material.
The midpiece is located between the head and the tail and contains the mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell.
The tail is responsible for propelling the cell through the woman’s reproductive tract.
When sperm are malformed, it means that one or more of these parts are not properly developed.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, including genetic abnormalities, exposure to certain chemicals or toxins, or problems with the way the sperm cells are produced in the testicles.
Varicoceles are the swelling of veins in the scrotum that may pose fertility issues as the veins get enlarged more than the usual size, resulting in abnormal semen analysis.
Cancer treatments can cause permanent or temporary infertility in men. The most common treatments that can cause infertility are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
These treatments can damage the cells that produce sperm, which can lead to a decrease in sperm count or even complete sperm loss.
In some cases, fertility may return after treatment, but this is not always the case.
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use are all bad for fertility.
Other habits, such as not getting enough exercise, eating an unhealthy diet, and exposure to toxins can also lead to fertility problems.
Testicular injury can occur in several ways. It can be caused by trauma, surgery, or infection. Testicular injury can also be caused by certain medications or illnesses.
The testicular injury usually leads to a decrease in sperm production. In some cases, it can also lead to a complete stop in sperm production.
The Treatment for Male Infertility
The following are the treatments for Male Infertility-
Vasectomy reversal is a procedure that is performed to restore fertility in men who have previously had a vasectomy.
The vasectomy reversal procedure is complex, and it is important to consult with a fertility specialist to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.
There are two main types of vasectomy reversal: vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy.
In a vasovasostomy, the surgeon reconnects the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.
In a vasoepididymostomy, the surgeon directly connects the vas deferens to the epididymis, the small tube that resides next to the testicle where sperm is stored.
Sperm retrieval refers to the process of retrieving sperm from the ejaculate or testicular tissue to fertilize an egg.
It is often used as a treatment for male infertility, as it can overcome issues with sperm production or blockages in the reproductive tract.
There are a variety of sperm retrieval techniques that can be used, and the best method will often depend on the cause of infertility.
Some of the most common sperm retrieval techniques include-
- Testicular sperm extraction (TESE): This technique applies removing sperm directly from the testicles.
- Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA): This technique involves removing sperm from the epididymis, which is a small, coiled tube that stores and transports sperm.
- Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA): This is the process of removing sperm-containing fluid from the epididymis’ best locations after carefully choosing and sampling them under an operating microscope’s high-power optical magnification.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a fertility treatment that is used to treat male infertility.
ICSI is a process whereby a single sperm is injected into the egg, bypassing the need for the sperm to fertilize the egg on its own.
ICSI is often used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF), and it can be used to treat a variety of different infertility issues in men.
In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment for male infertility that involves retrieving sperm from the testicles and fertilizing eggs in a laboratory.
The fertilized eggs are then implanted into the woman’s uterus, where they will hopefully grow and develop into a healthy baby.
There are several things that men can do to reduce their risk of infertility. Here are a few suggestions:
- Avoid exposure to toxic chemicals
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Get regular medical checkups
- Keep a healthy body weight
- Reduce stress levels
- Quit smoking
In conclusion, male infertility is a problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of these factors are out of a man’s control, such as his age or genetic factors.
However, there are also lifestyle factors that can contribute to infertility, such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, and drug use.
If you are concerned about your fertility, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your chances of conceiving.