Hello and welcome to Yashadaa Hospital blogs, where you can read, learn and understand all about infertility, fertility treatments, and pregnancy care. Today we are talking about “Male Infertility,” A comprehensive study on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, awareness, and more on the topic. Our in-house expert doctor writes this blog, which proves the blog to be genuine and authentic for the reader.
Have you heard of the fact that approximately one in seven couples are infertile?
This means these couples have been trying to conceive through unprotected sexual intercourse for over a year but are still unable to have a child. And more than half of the cases we have treated were and are related to male infertility. In India, the lack of sexual education has burnt down many homes in domestic violence, for even though the male counterpart is detected with infertility, they tend to put the “blame” on their female partners. However, this blog shuns all those ideologies and focuses on what’s correct and scientific regarding infertility, regardless of gender.
What is Male Infertility?
Infertility is a disorder of the human reproductive system in which the person cannot reproduce. Unbiased, it can affect anyone, be it a man, a woman, or both. Male infertility means that a man has an issue or a condition with his reproductive system due to which the man cannot get a baby with his female partner.
Male infertility can be caused by abnormal sperm count or abnormal sperm function or no sperms at all! Illnesses, injuries, chronic health issues, lifestyle choices, and other factors may contribute to male infertility.
The incapacity to conceive a child can be stressful, tormenting, and hurting, but several treatments in Yashadaa are dedicated to treating male infertility.
Like every other medical condition, infertility also occurs for various reasons. Now, before that, read here about the symptoms one gets to see in male infertility;
The primary sign of male infertility is the uneasiness about conceiving a child. There are certain cases where an underlying problem, say it is an inherited disorder, dilated veins around the testicle, hormonal imbalance, or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm, causes signs and symptoms.
Here are the signs and symptoms you may notice, and if you observe them, you should seek professional help.
- Problems with sexual function — for instance, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated reduced sexual passion, difficulty maintaining an erection, and erectile dysfunction.
- Feeling of pain, swelling, or a lump in the testicle area.
- Recurrent respiratory infections.
- The inability to smell is also a factor!
- Abnormal breast growth or gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly.
- Unseemingly lowering facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality
- A lower than average sperm count is fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculate.
Now that you have read about the symptoms, you should know that infertility occurs due to various causes. Here are the specific medically approved reasons why a man may go through male infertility.
Many varied ranges of issues can affect the formation of sperm in the testicles. These problems can lead to a low quantity of sperm or to sperms that are abnormally shaped or malformed.
Some of the more common issues include:
- Defects in your Chromosome
- Hyperprolactinemia is the overproduction of a hormone called prolactin by the pituitary gland.
- Any form of injury to the testicle.
- Insensitivity to hormones called androgens
- Swelling of the testicles from infections
- Chromosome disorder called Klinefelter syndrome
- Thyroid problems
- Cryptorchidism occurs when either or both testicles are not descended.
- Varicocele – the enlargement of veins in the scrotum. If testicular veins ( veins carrying blood from testicles) are enlarged, they tend to stagnate the blood in the testicle and cause an increase in temperature, negatively affecting the sperm development. This condition is present in about 40% of Indian men with fertility problems.
- Please note that lifestyle, environmental, and age-related factors can also play a role in male infertility.
Here is another take on male infertility that we think many ordinary men do not tend to understand.
Conditions That Affect Sperm Transport
As we speak about the symptoms and conditions affecting male infertility, there is something more that we need to focus on. Even if the male’s body produces enough amount of great sperm, sometimes certain factors and conditions influence how or whether the sperms motility-ability to swim-can also lead to infertility. The movement of sperm might be too slow, which causes its death before reaching a potential egg. Sometimes the seminal fluid containing the sperm is too thick for the sperm to move around correctly (Viscous semen).
An inability of the sperm to reach penis from the testicles causes about 10% to 20% of male infertility cases. This happens due to blockage of the transport tubes of the testicles. This blockage can be natural or due to some infective disease/tumour/abnormal function or secondary to vasectomy-male family planning surgery.
Many men have cystic fibrosis that lacks the cilia-hair like structure- on the cells lining the transport tubes that carry the sperm out of the testicles. This makes any male infertile, but they are not sterile because they can still produce sperm.
While some males have great difficulty in getting an erection and/or maintaining it for a longer time, this condition is called erectile dysfunction, which makes having sex difficult.
Another condition by the name of retrograde ejaculation also causes infertility. This condition causes sperm to move into the bladder instead of out of the penis. Some medications increase the likelihood of this problem.
All these are natural occurrences, meaning they can happen to anyone at any time. But there are some specifics that, if taken care of, can be solved. However, here are some pointers you may tick off and find for yourself to understand if you, too, have the sword of “male infertility” hanging over your head.
Who is at risk for male infertility?
You may be more likely to have male infertility if you have had the following occurrences:
- Past inflammation of the prostate or past genital infections
- Injury to or torsion of the testicles
- Early puberty
- Delayed Puberty
- Exposure of the genitals to high temperatures
- Hernia repair
- Undescended testicles
- You may also be at risk if you take certain prescription medicines. These include ulcers, psoriasis, depression, and high blood pressure treatments.