Male Infertility

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Infertility is defined as the inability of the couple to conceive even after continuous unprotected sexual intercourse for at least one year. Both male and female partners are held responsible for the inability to conceive. 1 out of 6 couples are found to suffer from infertility worldwide!

People believe that females are solely held responsible for not conceiving; which is completely a myth! The fact is that even the male partner can be the reason behind the female not conceiving and is termed as Male Infertility! About 30 to 40% of infertile cases are related to male infertility!

What is Male Infertility? Male infertility is defined as the problem or disorder in males which reduces the chances of his female partner from conceiving or getting pregnant.  The number of cases of male infertility is steadily increasing from past half a decade for unexplained reasons!

What causes male infertility? Healthy sperm must make its way and reach the female partner’s vagina and successfully fertilize the ovum released from female. Any obstruction or any problem at any point in this process results in male infertility. The common causes are –

  • Sperm related problems – Associated with the production, growth, release and movement of sperms
  • Decrease in sperm count
  • Decrease in count of healthy sperms
  • Absence of sperms
  • Release of immature sperms
  • Change in size and shape of sperms
  • Immotile sperms
  • Sperms that is not functional
  • Medical conditions leading to infertility – Certain conditions can hamper the process and interfere with fertility which include –
  • Varicocele
  • Genital inflammations – Epididymitis, Orchitis
  • Infections either systemic or genital
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Antibodies that attack sperms
  • Undescended testes
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Celiac disease
  • Certain medications
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Sexual problems – This list includes the problems that are encountered during sexual intercourse –
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Hypospadias
  • Relationship issues that interfere with sexual act
  • Others – These are the factors that either interfere with sperm production, transport or with sexual intercourse –
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Wearing tight underwear
  • Wearing tight jeans
  • Injury to groin area
  • Obesity
  • Stress and anxiety

How is male infertility diagnosed? Male is easy and simple to diagnose when compared to female infertility. The diagnosis is established by –

  • Detailed history
  • Complete physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Sperm analysis
  • Urine analysis
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • Hormonal evaluation

How is male infertility treated? Like any other condition, male infertility can be treated as well.  Treatment is based on the underlying cause and treating the cause. Treatment options available are –

  • Antibiotics for infections
  • Surgeries for certain conditions
  • Medications to increase sperm count
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Assisted reproductive techniques

Advancement in medical field has found a cure for almost all the conditions. Infertility can be treated as well, it just requires your patience, time and knowledge to understand and accept the problem and treatment options!

If you are not able to conceive, it doesn’t matter end of life! Never give up hopes!! Have patience and never stress out!! Never blame your partner for no mistake of hers! You might be responsible at times, with she being completely normal!

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