Male infertility is diagnosed when the male exhibits problems after both partners have been tested during the reproductive process.
The reproduction process is usually a simple and natural one for most couples. However, some couples have a difficult time conceiving for various reasons.
In general, the quantity and quality of a man’s sperm determine his fertility. If a man ejaculates a low number of sperm or the sperm is of poor quality, it will be challenging and, in some cases, impossible for him to cause a pregnancy.
What is the prevalence of male infertility?
Infertility is an issue that affects many couples. Approximately one in five infertile couples can blame only the male partner for their infertility.
One in twenty men have problems with their fertility due to low sperm counts in the ejaculate. However, approximately one out of every 100 men does not have any sperm in their ejaculate.
The signs and symptoms of male infertility
- Men with infertility often suffer from vague symptoms. An unnoticed pregnancy can go undetected until the man tries to have a child.
- Different symptoms depend on what causes infertility. Here are some examples:
- The growth of your hair changes
- Desires for sexual activity change over time
- The testicles are painful, lumpy, or swollen
- Having difficulties erections and ejaculating
- Firm testicles with a small size
Factors that contribute to infertility in males
Sperm production or sperm transportation problems most often result in male infertility. The doctor might be able to discover the cause of the problem if they perform medical testing.
Infertile men have difficulties making sperm in their testes in about two-thirds of cases. There are either not enough Sperm produced, or the Sperm produced do not function correctly.
One in five infertile men experience problems with sperm transport, including those who have had a vasectomy but now wish to have more children. A complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen can result from obstructions (also called blockages) in the tubes leading sperm from the testes to the penis.
The following are less common causes of infertility: sexual problems that interfere with the woman’s ability to accept her semen for fertilization (one in 100 infertile couples); low levels of hormones made by the pituitary gland (one in 100 infertile men); and sperm defects (one in 100 infertile couples).
There are 16 infertile men for everyone who has antibodies. Most men are not affected by sperm antibodies, but some men will have a reduced chance of becoming pregnant because of these antibodies.
Male Infertility: causes and effects
- Problems with the production of sperm
- Causes of chromosomal or genetic disorders
- The testes do not descend appropriately at birth (Undescended testes)
- Testicular torsion (twisting of the testes in the scrotum)
- Symptoms include varicose veins in the testes (varicocele)
- Pharmaceuticals and chemicals
- Deterioration caused by radiation
- The cause remains unknown
- Sperm transportation is blocked
- Affected by infections
- Problems relating to the prostate
- Insufficiency of Vas deferens
- Anaesthesia for vasectomy
- The problem of erection and ejaculation (sexual problems)
- ejaculating retrograde and prematurely
- Ejaculation not occurring
- A problem with erectile function
- Intercourse is rarely observed
- The spinal cord has been injured
- The prostate is surgically removed
- Nervous system damage
- There are some medicines
- Hormonal imbalances
- Tumours of the pituitary gland
- LH/FSH deficiency congenital (pituitary problem from birth)
- Abuse of anabolic steroids (androgenic steroids)
- Scleroderma antibodies
- Anaesthesia for vasectomy
- The epididymis is injured or infected
Factors that increase risk
- Male infertility is associated with the following risk factors:
- Tobacco consumption
- The use of alcohol
- Using certain illegal drugs
- The condition of being overweight
- Being infected with specific past or present infections
- As a result of exposure to toxins
- The testicles become overheated
- As a result of testicular trauma
- An existing vasectomy or major abdominal or pelvic surgery
- Having undescended testicles in the past
- The birth of a child with a fertility disorder or the blood relative of a child with one
- Tumours and chronic illnesses, like sickle cell disease, are medical conditions that people with certain conditions have
- Being on certain medications or undergoing medical treatment, such as cancer treatment with surgery or radiation
Consult with a urologist, for treatment.