When couples encounter fertility issues it is often believed that the problem lies in the woman. But it is not always true. Men are equally responsible if the couple is unable to conceive a baby. Each group is attributed for a 30% of infertility rate and the rest is credited to a combination of both male and female or unexplained factors.
What causes infertility among men?
Low Sperm count: When the semen which a man ejaculates has low levels of sperm it causes problems in conceiving. A sperm count fewer than 15 million is considered low.
Low Sperm Mobility: The sperm fails to ‘swim’ well as to reach the egg to fertilise it.
Abnormal Sperm: The sperm may have an abnormal shape which makes it harder for it to move and fertilise an egg.
Medical conditions: Conditions like cancer, testicular infection etc. may cause infertility.
Ejaculation disorders: If ejaculatory ducts are blocked, sperms may be ejaculated into bladder.
Genetic: A man should have an X and Y chromosome. If he has two X and a Y chromosome the testicles will develop abnormally which would result in a low sperm count.
How can male infertility be diagnosed?
Male infertility can be diagnosed by semen analysis and for any abnormalities associated with sperm. Usually, a semen sample is taken and is tested for volume of ejaculation, sperm concentration, sperm mobility, and sperm morphology (the shape and size of sperm).
How can male infertility be treated?
Surgery: A varicocele is the enlargement of veins within a scrotum, causing infertility. It can be surgically corrected or reversed. In cases where no such sperm is present in the ejaculated semen, sperm can be retrieved by using sperm-retrieval techniques.
Treating infections: Any infections in the reproductive tract may be cured using antibiotic treatments. Such treatment does not always restore fertility.
Hormone Treatments: If infertility is caused by hormonal imbalance then medications and hormone replacement would help a great deal.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): ART involves procuring sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction or donations from individuals. This sperm is then inserted into the female genital tract in order to conceive a child.