Male infertility is the inability of a man to impregnate a fertile woman regardless of any cause after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse, using no birth control methods. Conception normally is achieved within twelve months in 80 to 85% of couples who use no contraceptive methods, and person presenting after this time should therefore be regarded as possibly infertile and should be evaluated.
According to research, male infertility is involved in approximately 40% of the more than 2 million infertile married couples. Half of these men experience irreversible infertility and cannot have children, and a small number of these cases are caused by treatable medical condition. However, exciting advances in male infertility have introduced innovative therapeutic options and are offered to men.
Causes Of Male Infertility
A good quality and sufficient numbers of sperm should be “motile” (moving actively rather than aimlessly swimming around the vagina). It should also be normally shaped rather than malformed. Enough amounts of sperms must also be competitive of escaping from the seminal fluid in which they were ejaculated and of penetrating the woman’s cervical mucus as well as the egg’s outer covering.
Problem in the sperm is the leading cause, and account for approximately 75% of male infertility cases. On average about 100-750 million sperm are ejaculated during orgasm, but only a few make it to the fallopian tube and reach the egg for fertilisation. Fewer amounts of sperm, or any problem with its quality, reduce the chances of conception. Problem of the sperm can be caused by trapped sperm inside the testicles, orchitis, sexually transmitted infections, testicles that don?t descend into the scrotum at birth are damaged by staying in the body, genetic causes (Kilinefelter syndrome), cancer drugs, hormonal causes, varicocele (enlarged veins encircles the testicles) and poor quality of sperm after vasectomy reversal.
Other causes of male infertility includes neoplasm, trauma, hydrocele, malaria, testicular dysgenesis syndrome, idiopathic oligospermia (unexplained sperm deficiencies account for 30% of infertility problems in males), tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, abuse of illegal drugs, emotional stress, obesity and age.
Male Infertility Tests
It is important to detect and treat any correctible problems. In some men, a doctor’s exam may find an underlying medical problem that is causing the infertility. Usually, a couple should wait to see a doctor until they’ve tried to get pregnant for a year. However, it’s fine to consult your doctor sooner. Diagnostic exams may include:
- Semen analysis – tests the overall appearance, PH and volume of the semen, measures the sperm concentration, motility and vitality, and assesses morphology.
- Sperm Chromatin Integrity test (SCIT) – Assess chromatin integrity and DNA strand breaks, which have been shown to correlate with embryo quality.
- Semen microbiology – It is performed to obtain semen sample. It is cultured for bacterial growth on specialised media. Samples showing significant growth are sent to a laboratory for identification of the bacteria and what antibiotics can kill the bacteria.
- Retrograde semen analysis – It is indicated for men with a low volume and a diminished sperm count in the initial semen analysis.
- Antisperm antibodies – The presence of antibodies is evaluated by testing seminal fluid, semen and the serum. There should be an anti-sperm evaluation if in preparation of a vasectomy reversal, sperm motility is diminished, there is an increase of agglutination result or if sperm viability is n question.
Before trying to settle down for an infertility clinic, you first must make sure about your condition with a gynaecologist and urologist. After detailed male fertility check has been made, then that’s the time for an infertility specialist to take over. Male infertility clinics are treatment centres that typically provide infertility testing and diagnosis, IVF treatment, embryo freezing, IVF egg donor, ICSI, and infertility surgery.
Joining an infertility support group can also help. When it comes to opting for an IVF clinic, it’s a great must to research ahead of time. Try to check if these IVF clinics have good quality control, their success rates, and practice of strong work ethics. Don’t let anything hinder you from having a baby.
Male Infertility Treatments
Less than a decade ago, treatment for a severe male infertility was limited to inseminations or IVF using donor sperm. Today, exciting advances in male infertility have introduced innovative therapeutic options and are offered to men, including those with not enough sperm in their ejaculate due to genetic conditions, a greatly improved chance to conceive their won biological offspring.
- Assisted insemination can be performed of the sperm count is high. Careful washing and preparation of the sperm activates them so they enter into the high energy state needed to fertilise the egg.
- Donor insemination is offered to men with serious cases of male infertility. This is where the sperm of another man is used to inseminate you partner. This child is genetically that of the donor, but legally that of the couple.
- In vitro fertilisation (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is suggested for severe low sperm count because the sperm and egg are brought together in the small space of a specially designed plastic dish to improve the chance of fertilisation. ICSI is done by injecting a single sperm directly into the body (cytoplasm) of the egg, bypassing most of the barriers to fertilisation.
- Surgical sperm extraction is suggested if the sperm is absent in the ejaculate or if the sperm are severely affected by anti-sperm antibodies. The sperm is retrieved directly from the testes (testicular sperm extraction (TESE) or the epididymis, which joins the testis to the vas deferens (epididymal sperm aspiration – ESA) / ESA or TESE, can be used together with ICSI because the procedure doesn’t need to swim to the egg in order to fertilise it.
Prognosis Of Male Infertility
More than half in the cases of male infertility can be treated. Treatment may help couples to get pregnant through normal love-making. Even if you can’t get pregnant in this way, you may not need expensive or invasive treatments to get pregnant. If you need surgery to correct the problem that is causing your infertility, it can be performed as an outpatient procedure. This means you don?t have to stay in the hospital for long.