Up to 15% of couples are infertile which means they are unable to conceive a baby in spite of how frequent they try unprotected regular sexual intercourse for six months to one year, depending on your age! Being able to conceive a baby can be really stressful and disappointing!
What is Infertility in Men?
A man’s fertility is usually related to sperm quantity and sperm quality. If the number of the sperm a man ejaculates is low or if he ejaculates sperm of poor quality, conceiving a baby will be difficult and in some cases impossible to cause pregnancy.
Causes of male infertility:
- Overheating the testicles
- Major abdominal
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sperm antibodies
- Infection in the epididymis
- Low sperm count
- Genetic conditions
- Environmental toxins
- Specific medications side effects
- Structural damage
- Injuries or deformity
- Prostate-related problems
What are the symptoms of male infertility?
Male infertility is usually caused by problems affecting sperm production or sperm transport. In most cases, there are no obvious signs of infertility. There won’t be any problems with erections or intercourse; actually, you will be able to see the ejaculated semen with the naked eye.
Symptoms depend on what is causing infertility including:
- Pain or swelling
- Problems with sexual functions like erection
- A lump in the testicle area
- Abnormal breast growth
- Small or firm testicles
- Changes in the sexual desire
- Changes in hair growth
- Abnormally shaped sperm
- Poor sperm quality
- Sperm that can not penetrate the egg
When to see the doctor?
If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive a baby by unprotected regular sex for six months to one year without success or if you have any of the symptoms mentioned earlier.
How is male infertility diagnosed?
Your doctor may use one or more of the following tests to examine fertility:
- Semen analysis to determine the quantity and quality of the sperm.
- Physical examinations of the penis and prostate
- Some blood tests to check for any hormonal problems.
There is nothing that can be done to prevent male infertility, especially caused by genetic conditions, but there are actions that can decrease the possibility of infertility:
- Avoid radiation
- Avoid illicit drugs
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid heavy use of alcohol
- Wear loose-fitting underwear
The good news is that there are some treatments for male infertility. Keep in mind that any treatments for male infertility that mainly address any underlying medical conditions. For example, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is commonly used in accordance with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve pregnancy when male infertility is the issue. The procedure is very simple as the following:
- A tiny glass tube stabilizes the egg.
- Another tin glass tube is used to penetrate the egg to deposit a single sperm into the egg
- The egg is released into a culture medium
- If the egg is fertilized, it will develop 1: 2 days then will be either frozen or implanted.
Remember to check female infertility to get a full image of infertility in men and women.