While infertility refers to the inability to conceive a child one or more year after regular unprotected coitus, male infertility is defined as the inability to cause a pregnancy due to several factors that may be related to physical or mental health conditions. In the recent years, it is evident that most of the couples face infertility, but the good part of it is that there are more and more men coming forward and visiting fertility clinics to rectify their infertility problems.
Let us learn what are the causes, diagnosis methods and treatments for male infertility.
Several factors like low sperm count, unhealthy sperm count, certain drugs and more such factors can cause male infertility. Here are some of the medical causes responsible for male infertility:
The thyroid gland has a major role in the regular functioning of male reproductive system. Hypothyroidism is a low level of thyroid hormone which can lead to the production of an excess level of prolactin. This has negative impact on testosterone (Male hormone that is responsible for fertility).
Male infertility can result from high prolactin level. This condition is called as hyperprolactinemia. The impact of increased prolactin level in the testes can cause the production of sperm to fall.
This is a sign of conditions like stress, lack of confidence, etc., which can cause inability to keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Most of the men with spinal cord injury face this problem that leads to infertility.
As per a recent study, one of the most common causes of male infertility is a varicocele. This condition causes a swelling of veins that can result in low sperm production and unhealthy sperm. This can be treated by assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Retrograde ejaculation (Ejaculation into the bladder instead of a penis) and anejaculation (Failure of ejaculation) are one of the
It is a condition that includes low sperm count, difficulty in sperm movement, unhealthy sperm and abnormal sperm morphology. However, on the other hand, drugs like steroids, certain painkillers, antibodies such as virus bacteria, abnormal hormone levels can also result in oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, a male subfertility condition that is a collection of many sperm abnormalities that may later cause male factor infertility.
Testicular infection like inflammation of testicles, Gonorrhoea when to interfere in sperm production can cause scars that block passage of sperm. Sometimes, these infections can cause permanent testicular damage, thereby depleting the chances of causing a pregnancy.
Tuberculosis is a type of infection found in the male reproductive tract affecting the testis, epididymis, vas deferens, efferent ducts. Obstruction of efferent ducts due to scarring or inflammation from tuberculosis cause infertility. Likewise, injuries from previous surgeries can block tracts that are involved in fertility like testicles, tubes, epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, etc.
Compared to the other body organs, normally the scrotum in men has a lower temperature. Ideally, the scrotal temperature should be 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit less than the body temperature. For instance, in some conditions like varicocele, hydrocele, filariasis using tight undergarment, working in the hot atmosphere – all these factors lead to a rise in scrotal temperature, which interferes with male fertility.
However, there are also some general factors that can hamper the fertility in men through various diseases, disorders, working conditions and lifestyle habits. Here are some of general factors or causes responsible for male infertility:
To illustrate, diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, gonorrhoea, typhoid, influenza, smallpox can reduce sperm count and cause infertility in men.
Men who consume alcohol may have a low testosterone level that can cause the lower production of sperm and sperm cell motility. Similarly, men who smoke often face the same problem of low sperm count or zero sperm count.
There is a significant decline in sperm production due to the exposure to toxins such as pesticides, lead, paint, radiation, chemicals and radioactive chemicals or substances (Substances that produces alpha, beta, gamma rays).
Disorders like pituitary tumours, hypothalamus and anabolic steroids abuse causes testicular shrinkage which results in sperm decrease.
This is most important fertility test which involves testing the semen samples. This test is done to detect the level of white blood cells, sperm count, movement of the active sperm cells called as motility, size and shape of the sperm called as morphology. On the other hand, when there is increased number of white blood cells, it may cause a problem in sperm production and movement.
This test is done to check for the blockages in tubes, epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, and seminal vesicles since these are the organs that carry semen.
Certain hormone play role in sperm production such as Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Testosterone hormone, Prolactin and thyroid hormonal tests are done.
When the semen analysis and other tests show normal report, doctors prefer this test.
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