Male infertility is defined as the inability of a male to conceive a pregnancy in a female who is fertile. Almost 40-50% cases of infertility are because of the male component.
Male Infertility: Causes and Treatments
The male produces sperm which are required to fertilise the ovum from the female in order to result in a pregnancy. Hence the most important factor in a male is the sperm. The count as well as the quality and the quantity of the sperm plays a major role in the fertility of a men.
Male infertility is the main cause of infertility in almost 33% of the cases.
Male Infertility Causes:
There are majorly three types of causes:
In this type, the testes are normal but there are some conditions which don’t let the testes perform its functions normally. It includes
- Inadequate hormonal support
- Poor health
- Drugs and alcohol addiction
- Activities like horse riding
- Some seizure medications
- Celiac disease
- Tobacco smoking
In this type, the problem lies in the testes itself. It leads to formation of decreased number and inferior quality sperms which fails to fertilise the ovum.
- Klinfelter syndrome
- Undescended testis
- Testicular tumour
- Radiation therapy to the testicles
Post testicular factors:
In this type, the hormones and the testicles have normal function. But the transport if the sperms rom the testicular sac to the ejaculatory duct is hampered.
- Vas deferens obstruction
- Absent vas deferens
- Infection of prostate
- Retrograde ejaculation
Male Infertility Diagnosis:
Physical examination: The male infertility specialist examines the patient thoroughly. A detailed history regarding exposure to drugs, family history of any genetic disorder, history of radiation exposure is taken. Presence of varicocele can be checked.
Sperm analysis: the patient is instructed to obtain a sperm specimen by the process of masturbation. The sample is checked for the presence of sperms. Their count, their shape and size and motility is checked. Problem in any of the factors may result in infertility.
Blood tests: various blood tests are conducted to check for the levels of sex hormones in the body which are essential for the growth of sperms.
Sonography: a sonography of the scrotum is conducted. It is useful in diagnosing the presence of abnormal growth of the testis or any obstruction in the path of the sperms.
Biopsy of the testis: a piece of the testis is removed and examined under microspore to check for the presence of sperm.
Male Infertility treatment by Infertility Specialist
Varicocele is the most common surgically treatable cause of male infertility. Surgical reduction of varicocele may result in increased probability of conception.
Successful treatment of the infections of the scrotum will result in increase in the number of healthy sperm production.
Some medications are used which increase the rate of formation of the sperms in the testis. These are given to males who have a decreased sperm count.
Hormones may also be helpful in increasing the number of sperms as well their quality.
Sperm retrieval techniques:
If there is problem with sperm transport, then the sperms can be extracted from the testis with procedure like TESA/MESA/PESA.
IVF treatment in IVF Centres:
They are very useful if all the other methods fail procedures such as ICSI i.e. intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be used to fertilise the ovum and result in a conceptus.