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Infertility in Men - Everything You Need to Know

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Infertility is a condition when a couple tries to conceive but is unable to do so despite having regular, unprotected sexual contact for a year. Couples who don't meet the requirements for a certain period of time can also consult a doctor to determine their fertility levels. Males, females, or both may be affected by the physical, hormonal, and environmental causes of infertility.

Infertility can result from many conditions. Some tests are performed by medical professionals to identify the causes of infertility in couples. The diagnosis of infertility is formed by a general physical examination, evaluation of medical history, hormonal profiles, ultrasound scans, and other tests.

What Causes Infertility in Males?

The male provides the sperm to fuse with the female's egg for fertilization to occur. It may be challenging to get the partner pregnant if there are problems with sperm production, sperm that are abnormal in appearance, like an abnormal shape, ejaculation problems, hormonal issues, and other factors.

So, with the correct diagnosis, the appropriate treatment for male infertility can be decided. A fertility assessment is done according to medical, historical, and hormonal information. The primary causes of infertility in men are

  • Cystic fibrosis-related genetic disorders, Y microdeletions, and congenital vas deferens absence
  • Varicocele is one example of an obstruction in the male reproductive system.
  • Testicles or pelvic region injuries or operations
  • Steroid abuse, excessive drug, and alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle choices disrupt hormone levels in the body.
  • Retrograde ejaculation is a condition where the ejaculation is directed back to the bladder.
  • Cancer of the reproductive system in any form
  • Cryptorchidism is a defect in which the testis does not descend to the scrotum.
  • The temperature of the testicles and sperm production can be affected by chemical exposure and intense heat from tanning beds and saunas.

Male Fertility Check:

You will need to see a doctor because many infertile males have more than one cause of infertility. Finding the reason for infertility may need some tests. Sometimes no root cause is ever found. A male fertility check involves:

  • Physical exam and medical history: Your doctor examines your genitalia and asks you about any inherited conditions, current health problems, injuries, or surgeries during this male virility check. Also, your doctor asks about your sexual cycle and if there are any frequent changes.
  • Semen Analysis: Semen collection is the most common male fertility check that is done in many ways. By masturbating and ejaculating into a provided container at the doctor's office, you can provide a sample. In some cases, semen is obtained by utilizing a condom during sexual intercourse. The number of sperm in your semen is then counted, and the morphology and motility of the sperm are examined for any anomalies in a laboratory. Your semen will also be examined in the lab for indications of issues like infections.

Sperm counts vary from one person to the next. To ensure accurate results, several semen analysis tests are performed over time. By performing any more male infertility test, your doctor is likely to find out the more accurate causes behind your infertility.

Male Fertility Test

The doctor determines the type of treatment after the tests are done on both the male and female partners. The following are some male infertility test

  • Blood Test: It is the most common male infertility test that measures certain hormones such as testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and other hormones in the blood.
  • Ultrasound Scan: This examination creates images of your internal organs using high-frequency sound waves. Your doctor can check for varicocele or other issues in the testicles and supporting structures with the aid of a scrotal ultrasound.
  • Chromosomal Array: Omit quicker outcomes and fewer problems with no results, this method is superior to karyotyping.
  • Ultrasound or testicular biopsy: A tiny piece of testicular tissue is removed via ultrasound or testicular biopsy through a small incision in the scrotum.

Treatment Options Available For Men

After you have been through the male fertility test and the results are in, your doctor may suggest the following treatment options. The treatment depends upon the severity and type of the condition prevailing.

  • Surgery: For instance, a varicocele can be fixed, and a blocked vas deferens can usually be fixed. An earlier vasectomy can be undone. Sperm can frequently be extracted directly from the testicles or epididymis using sperm retrieval techniques in situations where there are no sperm in the ejaculate.
  • Infection Treatment: An infection in the reproductive tract may be treated with antibiotics, but fertility is not always restored.
  • Treatments for issues with sexual intercourse: In cases of erectile dysfunction or early ejaculation, medication or counseling can help improve fertility.
  • Medications and treatments for hormones: In cases where infertility is brought on by high or low levels of particular hormones or issues with how the body uses hormones, your doctor may advise hormone replacement or medications.
  • Use of Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART): Depending on your unique situation and preferences, ART treatments may involve obtaining sperm through routine ejaculation, surgical extraction, or from donors. The sperm are then used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in vitro fertilization, or insertion into the female genital tract.

Conclusion

A thorough evaluation is required to diagnose, identify the underlying cause, and treat infertility. If you are someone facing problems being a parent for the first time, it is best to speak with a healthcare provider about a fertility assessment. The doctor will guide you during and after the male infertility test and provide you with the best treatment option if required.

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