Opening Up About Male Infertility

Every man desires to have children once he gets married and have his own family. However, not all men are able to go through this process easily. While traditionally, infertility used to be considered as a women’s sexual health issue, male infertility received just ignorance, raising more concerns about men’s health. Let’s get to know more about this sexual health issue of men.

Fatherhood is a special feeling that many men are not able to go through. The reason can be multiple but one of the primary reasons for all the married men is difficulty in conceiving. Infertility plays a huge role in this case and becomes quite stressful for a man to carry on with his life especially if he or his partner is keen about kids.  

The truth is that male infertility can be devastating for a man. Many times, men tend to believe that they are failing at one of their most primal responsibilities. While some men accept the reality that they cannot father a child, the others have hope that their male infertility can be treated. 

As male infertility is a common issue among men, we decided to put some light on it. Have a look below:

What is Male Infertility?

Male Infertility can make it almost impossible for a man to have kids.

Believe it or not, male infertility is a common sexual health problem among men. Globally, about *four to twelve percent of men are affected by male infertility. In layman language, it is a health problem in which a man is unable to get his partner pregnant after having unprotected sex. If you have been having unprotected sexual intercourse with your partner for over a year and she is fertile, then you might be dealing with male infertility. 

Pregnancy is not just about producing sperm and ejaculating timely. It also depends on the sperm’s health and count. However, there can be many other causes of male infertility as well. 

Causes

We have already talked about a health issue with your sperm. Apart from that, there can be certain health issues that do not let you produce sperm, or let it reach the egg. Some of the following are the main causes of male infertility:

  • Sperm disorders
  • Varicoceles
  • Retrograde Ejaculation
  • Immunologic Infertility
  • Obstruction
  • Hormones
  • Medication

As we are talking about sperm disorders, following are sperm disorders that lead to male infertility:

  • Not grown fully.
  • Be oddly shaped.
  • Don’t move the right way.
  • Be made in very low numbers.
  • Not be made at all.

Such sperm disorders can lead to male infertility, especially when there is no sperm in your semen. 

Symptoms

While the main symptom of male infertility is not being able to conceive a child, there can be other signs or symptoms that you may notice, such as:

  • Problems with sexual function — for example, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection (Erectile Dysfunction).
  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area.
  • Recurrent respiratory infections.
  • Inability to smell.
  • Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia).
  • Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality.
  • A lower than normal sperm count (fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen or a total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculate).

Diagnosis of Male Infertility

Male Infertility can be treated by a Urologist.

When you see a Urologist to diagnose your male infertility, your doctor will conduct a physical examination to determine your general state of health and identify any physical problems that may impact your fertility. Along with that, he or she will review you as well as your partner to know your sexual habits. Next, he will conduct a few tests as well as do a semen analysis. The semen analysis will find out:

  • Sperm volume: Amount of sperm per ejaculate.
  • pH: A measurement of acidity or basicity.
  • Sperm concentration: Number of sperm per millilitre of semen.
  • Total sperm count: Number of sperm in your whole ejaculate.
  • Velocity: How fast your sperm travels.
  • Linearity: How straight your sperm moves.
  • Morphology: Size and shape of your sperm.
  • Colour.
  • Viscosity: How fast your semen liquefies.

They may also do a sperm analysis which determine:

  • Viability, or ability to survive.
  • Morphology, or quality and shape.
  • Motility, your sperm’s ability to move to the egg and fertilise it.

Apart from that, they might ask you to go for tests like:

  • Leukocytospermia quantitation/Endtz test.
  • Kruger’s strict morphology classification.
  • W.H.O. morphology for sperm assessment.
  • Special staining for azoospermic specimen.
  • Semen biochemistry fructose test.
  • Sperm antibody tests (direct and indirect immunobead).
  • Reactive oxygen species.
  • Sperm DNA assessment.

Conclusion

We understand how powerless you might feel after being diagnosed with male infertility. It can be agonising for a man to know that he is infertile and the possibility of him having kids is almost impossible. However, with medical science advancing at a fast pace, you can always treat your infertility. No matter what is the cause of your infertility, there is a cure for it. You can now embrace fatherhood with so many treatments for male infertility. All you need to do is seek a Urologist and get help from him/her.  

Footnote:

Four to twelve percent of men are affected by male infertility: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275666399_A_unique_view_on_male_infertility_around_the_globe#:~:text=Male%20infertility%20is%20a%20global,the%20highest%20rates%20%5B43%5D%20

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