Friday, 27 April 2012

Male Infertility

Male infertility refers to the inability of a male to achieve a pregnancy in a fertile female.

Infertility is a couple’s inability to conceive a child after 12 months of unprotected sex. It is widely assumed that infertility has more to do with women rather than men, however it is not so. Estimates suggest that 30% of infertility is caused by male factors, another 30% is caused by female factors and the remaining 40% is caused by a combination of female and male factors. Men also suffer from infertility due to genetic reasons, lifestyle, hormonal imbalance, and age.


Understanding Male Infertility


Let’s take a look at the cause, diagnosis, and possible treatments available.

Rapid urbanization has changed the way men eat, drink, and sleep and that has taken a toll on their health. Consumption of alcohol, smoking, drugs, unhealthy eating patterns, stress and obesity are believed to be the common causes for infertility. Being overweight or underweight may also prove to be risk factors. A recent study also suggests that external factors like pollution can also infiltrate male reproductive organs. However, you can reduce the risk by a proper exercise and a healthy diet.

Other reasons why a man has trouble getting a woman pregnant, besides male infertility include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, retrograde ejaculation, or problems from penis enlargement surgery.

A low sperm volume (or none at all) can be caused by severe mumps infection, hormone problems, genetics, or an infection. It can also be caused by poor blood circulation due to tight underwear, smoking, alcohol or illegal drugs, and also by pollution.

Some of the factors that play an important role in male infertility are: Sperm Motility, Sperm Morphology, and Sperm Count.


Male Infertility Causes and Treatments


Usually a semen analysis is conducted to diagnose the cause which includes the following:

Sperm motility 

Sperm motility is the ability of sperms to move towards the egg which results in its fertilization. Sperm which do not properly swim will not reach the egg in order to fertilize it.

Sperm count

Sperm count is the quantity of sperms or cells, the more the sperms more are the chances of normal pregnancy. A healthy sperm count should total about 20 million sperm per milliliter and the normal semen volume per ejaculation is 2 ml. Azoospermia is a condition in which there is complete absence of sperm. It can also be congenital. Correctible causes must be found and treated. Even then if there are no sperm in the ejaculate, sperm can often be harvested and used to achieve fertilization.

Sperm morphology

Sperm morphology refers to the size and shape (form) of an individual sperm which is evaluated during semen analysis.

According to WHO manual of 1989, morphology is considered normal if it is around 30% or more.

Deficiency of any of these factors can result in infertility.

If you are facing infertility that does not means that your parental hopes have become extinct. Infertility is a common problem among men and fortunately these days, treatment options are available. If the cause is diagnosed at an early stage your chances of success are more as age plays an important role in infertility treatment. Modern scientific technologies like ART, ICSI, and IUI have made the treatment easy. However, this treatment can be very expensive and can burn a hole in your pocket. Today inexpensive methods are also available without any compromise on the treatment and methodology.

Once the cause of male infertility is established, your doctor may recommend a range of treatments now for the design of the pair as possible. Each treatment corresponds to a particular case.

At least one-half of male fertility problems can be treated so that conception is possible. There are three basic categories of treatment for male infertility namely, Assisted reproduction, Drug therapy, Surgery.

A couple experiencing infertility should not underestimate the significance of the problems that can exist in the male. These problems may be the sole or contributing reason for the couple’s failure to conceive and are best identified by a male infertility specialist. Care and attention in looking for and identifying disease processes in both the man and woman will prevent missed opportunity for a potential cure and give the couple the timeliest and most efficient pathway to start or expand their family.

Always remember that infertility can be cured like any other disease and it does not mean that your masculinity is at stake. By being fit you can fight infertility.

If you have been through or experiencing infertility, come share your experiences with us


  1. The cause of male infertility can be poor sperm morphology, low sperm count or mobility. ICSI is the procedure for Low sperm count and low sperm mobility. Its a pre process of IVF. IVF is for female but ICSI is for male infertility.

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