Male fertility requires that an adequate amount of “quality” sperm is ejaculated into the vagina and capable of swimming through the cervix, into the uterus and to the fallopian tubes.
Are you the one who is struggling to have a baby, then you must know that you are definitely not alone in the race. There may be many instances when you might wonder that you or your partner has a medical problem and need to look into the issue seriously. A sperm must attach to, and penetrate the membrane surrounding the egg and fertilize the egg.
For more info you can also read our blog post on Infertility causes treatment options .
Symptoms of infertility in men
Male infertility variably depends on low sperm production or abnormal sperm function. Injuries, prolonged illness, chronic health problems, and lifestyle choices can play an important role in causing male infertility.
Approximately most men with male infertility do not notice any symptoms other than the inability to conceive a child, however, few signs and symptoms associated with male infertility include:
Problems with sexual function
Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
Abnormal breast growth
Decreased facial or body hair
A lower than normal sperm count
Causes of male infertility
Male fertility is a complex process. To get your partner pregnant, the following must occur:
You must produce healthy sperm
Sperm have to be carried into the semen.
There needs to be enough sperm in the semen.
Sperm must be functional and able to move.
The main causes of male infertility depend on many factors. There is an ample amount of problems that can hinder cell growth into a healthy sperm and restricting them to reach the egg. Few of the health issues and medical treatments can also be responsible for male infertility that includes:
Abnormal sperm production: The case may arise due to the undescended testicles, or health problems that include diabetes, or infections such as chlamydia, or HIV. Sperm quality can also be affected by enlarged veins in the testes.
Ejaculation Issues: It includes premature ejaculation, failure to ejaculate, and slow ejaculation, this means when, at orgasm, the ejaculate is forced back into the bladder instead of going through the urethra and out the end of the penis.
Sexual Intercourse Problems: The problems include trouble maintaining an erection required for sexual intercourse, premature ejaculation, painful intercourse, or psychological or relationship problems that interfere with the sex.
Tumors: The male reproductive organs can be at direct risk from non-malignant tumors and cancers. In some cases, reasons can also include surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat tumors that can affect male fertility. Cancer treatments can severely affect sperm production.
Chromosome defects: Few genetic syndromes associated with the infertility issues include inherited disorders, cystic fibrosis, Kartagener’s syndrome, and Kallmann’s syndrome.
Personal factors: Excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, anabolic steroids and other medications taken to treat the bacterial infection, depression and blood pressure can affect fertility.
Environmental factors: Excessive exposure to a hot sauna, hot tubs and radiations may affect sperm production.
Hormone imbalance: Some underlying causes like disorders in testicles or an abnormality affecting other hormonal systems can cause infertility. Very low hormone levels cause poor sperm growth.
Sperm Disorders: The commonly known cause of infertility is the growth of the sperm. These sperms may not be fully grown, distorted shape, low in numbers and may not move the right way.
Varicocele: It is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle and this has an impact on sperm quality. Varicocele can affect either one or both the testes.
Medications: Sperm production is related to infertility and it can be affected by certain medications that include cancer, antifungal, testosterone replacement therapy, prolonged use of steroids, and some ulcer drugs.
Health, lifestyle and other causes
The Semen Analysis
It involves checking the shape, number, and movement of the sperm. A blood test may be carried to check the hormone level that controls sperm production. The quality of your sperm tells much about your ability to conceive.
- Volume. total volume of the ejaculate.
- Count. The sperm count is given in concentration (sperm/ml) and total count. Low sperm counts are usually assumed to be related to infertility
- Motility. This is usually expressed as a percentage of moving sperm. Generally speaking, 10 million sperm with good motility per ml is acceptable.
- Morphology. Normally shaped sperm.
Men with an abnormal semen analysis should consult with a reproductive endocrinologist. A urology consult may be indicated in some cases. Most men with an abnormal semen analysis can father children with appropriate treatment. Schedule an appointment to avail our male infertility services in Newport Beach & Fullerton CA.
When should you see a doctor?
A visit to a doctor should be made in cases where you have been unable to conceive a child even after a year of continuous unprotected intercourse or in cases where you find below-listed problems that include:
Erection or ejaculation problems, low sex drive, or other problems with sexual function
Pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicle area
A history of testicle, prostate or sexual problems
A groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery
This should be ensured that there is no need to visit a doctor’s clinic unless and until you have been trying hard regularly to get pregnant for approximately a year and experience below listed issues:
Are over 40 years of age
Have known fertility problems
Low sex drive
Groin, scrotum or testicle surgery
Have undergone treatment for cancer
Have low sperm count
Have a history of testicular, or sexual problems
Male Infertility Risk Factors
Risk factors for male infertility include:
Age: With the increasing age fertility decreases. Males over the age of 40 years may be less fertile than younger men.
Use of tobacco: Smoking tobacco or marijuana by men can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and low sperm count in men.
Use of alcohol: Consumption of a high dosage of alcohol can preferably decrease sperm count and motility in men.
Overweight: Being overweight can cause a harmful effect on sperm count.
What can I do if I’m worried about my fertility?
A visit to a fertility doctor in Newport Beach, CA is a must if in case you and your partner have been trying for pregnancy for the past 12 months without any success. This is to be always kept in mind that infertility is a couple’s problem not just men’s or women’s.
Infertility can be a sign of undiagnosed health problems, so it’s important that you get it checked out at Eden fertility Center that combines the latest fertility treatment technology with a luxury level care. The entire range of fertility treatments ranges from basic to advanced treatments, including IUI, In-vitro fertilization (IVF treatment), Surrogacy, LGBTQ+ Fertility, Genetic Testing/Screening, Egg donation and Egg Freezing.
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Initial male fertility diagnosis includes a medical history, physical examination, hormone tests and semen analyses. There are a variety of male infertility treatment options available at Eden Fertility Center. A specialized form of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is used primarily for the treatment of severe cases of male infertility.
Physical Examination: The doctor will take your surgical and health histories in order to know the underlying cause for infertility. This may include asking about childhood illness, health issues, lifestyle changes, diet and medications. The questions may also point towards your sex life, duration of sex, and how the body works during sex. If there are any troubles with erections.
- Testicular Biopsy: The biopsy is needed in case a semen test shows a low or no sperm count. A small cut is made on the scrotum. The test serves both the purposes of finding a cause of infertility and collect sperm for reproduction.
- Semen analysis: It involves checking the shape, number, and movement of the sperm. A blood test may be carried to check the hormone level that controls sperm production. The quality of your sperm tells much about your ability to conceive.
- Hormonal Profile: The doctor may check your hormones with a hormonal profile to check how well your testicles can make sperm.
Male Fertility Treatments
- ICSI – intracytoplasmic sperm injection, with IVF, where a single sperm can be directly injected into the egg. ICSI can be used in conjunction with TESA, MESA and PESA noted below
- TESA – Testicular Sperm Aspiration
- MESA – Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration
- PESA – Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration
- IUI – Intrauterine Insemination is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. IUI provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start but still requires a sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its own. It is a less invasive and less expensive option compared to
- Sperm donor – Donor sperm can be used with IVF or IUI. If you are using a sperm donor with your IVF procedure, you will still administer fertility medications to prepare your eggs for retrieval.
Some known causes of male infertility can be avoided by following the below listed preventive measures:
- Limit smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Keep the weight off
- Avoid vasectomy
- Avoid things that lead to prolonged heat for the testicles
- Reduce stress in life
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins
- Avoid surgeries
If in case, you have any reason to think you might need your fertility checking, then you may wish to arrange a sperm analysis.