To understand Male Infertility, we must first understand what is Infertility. If a couple is not able to conceive a child even though they had frequent unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer, they are considered to be Infertile. It is estimated that about one in five infertile couples, the problem lies solely in the male partner, that is approximately 30% of all infertility cases.
Traditionally, women were the focus of infertility evaluations. Now it is commonly understood that male factors are an equal contributor in infertility issues. Male Infertility has now become a widespread disease and is increasing by the day.
There are several causes of male infertility. A variety of disorders ranging from medical conditions, genetic abnormalities, hormonal imbalance, physical problems, sexual incompatibilities, psychological problems and lifestyle issues can cause male infertility.
However, most of the male infertility cases reported are due to issues with sperms. In case of male fertility in relation to sperms, there are three most important factors:
There must be adequate production of sperms by the testes
These sperms must be able to travel through the seminal duct without any obstruction
The sperm must reach the ovum without fail.
We will try to find out the major causes of male infertility.
Swelling of the veins in the testicle (Varicocele)
Abnormally developed testicles
Swollen veins in the scrotum
Retrograde ejaculation – that is semen enters the bladder rather than coming out of the tip of penis
Autoimmune disease where Antibodies attack sperm
Cancers and tumors
Severe mumps infection after puberty
Defects of tubes that transport sperm
Urinary tract infections
Chromosomal abnormalities like Klinefelter’s syndrome
Problems with sexual intercourse (Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation, painful intercourse, compatibility issues
Digestive disorder called Coeliac disease
Injury to the groin area
Certain medications like steroids, cancer drugs, ulcer drugs etc can impact sperm production
Certain surgeries like prostrate surgeries, vasectomy, hernia repairs, testicular surgeries, surgeries for rectal cancer etc
Overexposure to industrial chemicals like benzenes, toluene, xylene, lead etc can affect sperm production
Exposure to high doses of radiation can affect sperm production
Overheating the testicles can also affect sperm production
Use of illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana can affect the quality and quantity of sperm production
Smoking and alcohol use can affect sperm production thus causing infertility
Inadequate vitamins in the diet
Stress and depression can cause sexual problems, problems with sperm production and infertility
Obesity and Overweight can cause hormonal imbalances and also affect sperm production
Very intense exercise can also produce hormonal imbalance and thus infertility
Around 25% of infertile men have idiopathic infertility. That means they have abnormal or low sperm counts but the reason is unknown.
Earlier male infertility treatment options were limited to In Vitro Fertilization using donor sperms. Today, with significant advances in male infertility treatments, there are several options available depending on the condition and suitability.
For more questions on male infertility and their treatment options, write to www.kjkhospital.com/contact