Infertility is a convoluted issue that is affecting 10 to 15% of the couples trying to conceive. About 1/3rd of the couples facing this difficulty of conception are connected with male reproductive problems. Therefore, it becomes vital that men recognize the curable or incurable causes of this distressing health issue.
Luckily, today's state-of-the-art technologies and potent drugs that diagnose the male infertility mean attaining parenthood is challenging, but not unattainable. In this post, you will gain awareness of mostly everything related to male infertility. Issues may arise in any one of these organs:
The Penis – The size of the penis does not challenge the male's ability of fathering a child but its structure can.
- The penis opening must be adequately large to allow the sperm to escape.
- Hypospadias is an unusual penis curvature, where the opening lies on the underside.
- Epispadias is a strange penis curve, where the opening lies on the top.
All these three conditions prevent the male's sperm to reach the egg for fertilization.
The Testicles – The male testicles are responsible to do two most important jobs.
- To produce testosterone that is essential for enhancing sex drive, erections, and sexual satisfaction.
- To produce sperm in millions every day. This process takes place in the 150 meters of fine coiled tubes located in each testis.
The testicles temperature must be maintained and kept lower than the normal body temperature to maintain the sperm health. This is the reason that it lies outside the male body. If anything that causes the temperature to rise, including fluid retention or varicose veins can deter a pregnancy.
The Sperm – Suppose there is no indication of a strange penis curvature or the testicle temperature then the final check-up to be made is sperm analysis. This is the common male factor liable for fertility issues.
The trip to reach the egg is very long and demanding. Despite the fact that there are over 200 million sperm released during ejaculation, but hardly half of them are capable to survive in the initial few hours. Some are vulnerable and cannot reach the cervix, whereas some get misdirected. Only the strong sperm has the ability to make it all the way.
The factors that hinder the sperm from reaching the uterus for fusion comprise of the sperm count, mobility, and shape. A sperm with right oval shaped head and long tail can quickly swim towards the unfertilized egg on time. Damaged sperm are weak and even if they fertilize the egg there is a miscarriage caused.
Criteria considered viable for the male's sperm are:
- Right volume – 1.5 to 5ml
- Right amount – over 20 million sperm/ml
- Proper motility – moving sperms must be over 40%
- Correct morphology – Normally shaped sperm must be above 30%
- Right forward movement – this means the majority of sperm must move forward satisfactorily
- Correct hyper viscosity – Semen should gel quickly, but liquefy within half an hour after ejaculation
- Nonexistence of anti-sperm antibodies – If there are anti-sperm antibodies present, it gets attached to the tail of the sperm hindering its movement that causes infertility.
Reasons for low sperm count are:
Hormonal imbalance, damages the testis, lifestyle, medications, nutritional deficiencies, genetic defects, blockages in the reproductive system, and vasectomy reversals are some sources that lessen the swimmers.
Tests and treatments
Semen analysis may display lower sperm quantity, but the doctor will also suggest trans-rectal sound a testicular biopsy, blood hormone tests to confirm if there are any blockages, cysts, or calcifications that reduces or stops the sperm production.
Treatment methods depend on the severity of causes. It can include medications, surgery, IUI, IVF, and ICSI techniques to resolve the infertility issue.
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