Author: Dr. Anshu Yadav

Qualification : MBBS, MD Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AIIMS, Delhi), DNB, DM Reproductive medicine AIIMS, Delhi (cont.)

Male Infertility Explained: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Infertility is defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy despite being sexually active and not using any contraceptive method for at least a year. It may result due to an issue with either of the partners, or a combination of factors that affect fertility.  Typically a self-diagnosable disorder, infertility affects millions across the world. It is estimated that over 30 million men and women in India suffer from infertility.

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What is Male Infertility, and how common is it?

To put it simply, male infertility means that a man has some sort of reproductive disorder due to which he’s unable to have children. Studies have shown that 15% of couples fail to conceive even after trying consistently for a year, and 10% for 2 years. Many fertility doctors suggest that in the case of couples who are still younger than 30 years of age and healthy, 20%-37% of couples are generally able to conceive within the first three months.

Male infertility is on rise in the recent years  accounting for 50% of all the cases due to increase in obesity, smoking, alcoholism, altered lifestyle and dietary patterns In almost half of cases man is responsible for infertility.

Common causes of male infertility

In order to reproduce, the male partner must be able to have an erection and ejaculate, for the sperm to reach the egg. In order to conceive a child, it is equally important to produce healthy sperm that can fertilise the egg. Testicle or testis is the reproductive organ that produces sperm.

There are various causes which may be responsible for causing infertility in man:
  • Erection or ejaculation problems
  • Hormonal problems
  • Problems in sperm production (in the testis) or sperm passage (obstruction in the passage of sperms)
  • Infection in the genital or urinary tract
  • Enlarged testicular veins (varicocele)
  • Genetic disease
  • Genital Cancer
  • Immune disorder
  • Received gonadotoxic treatment in the past
  • Hernial surgery or trauma to genital area
  • Thyroid disorder and diabetes mellitus

And in almost 50% of male infertility cases, the causes remain undetermined. Treatment depends on the cause identified.  

Symptoms of infertility in men

The inability to conceive a child in itself is the main symptom of infertility in men, and there may not be any other obvious symptoms. In some cases though, signs and symptoms may appear due to an underlying condition, hormonal imbalances or structural disorders. Some of those symptoms may include:
  • Reduced semen volume.
  • Reduced sexual desire.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Pain or swelling in the testis.
  • Recurrent respiratory infections.
  • Reduced sperm count.

Male infertility treatment

With the help of modern methods and advanced technologies, the treatment options for male infertility have expanded significantly. Male infertility treatments vary depending on the cause of infertility.

Some of the lifestyle changes suggested for improved fertility include:
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
  • Follow a healthy and balanced diet.

In some cases, hormone therapy is known to be effective in increasing sperm count. Apart from that, there are elaborate surgical procedures that can help in male infertility treatment through sperm analysis test, either by correcting the obstruction in the sperm transporting ducts or by surgical sperm retrieval.

Remember that there are many males that suffer from infertility, and you are not alone in your struggle. Just because you have male infertility issues, it doesn’t disqualify you to father your own child. Thanks to the modern science and technology, almost 90% of all males suffering from infertility can now have their own child. Advanced therapies and treatments like Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) have significantly improved the chances of infertile males conceiving a child. So even if you’re someone who suffers from infertility issues, there’s no reason to distress. There are changes you can make to your lifestyle in order to prevent infertility, surgeries and procedures you can try. Speak to our fertility experts at Motherhood IVF, and they’ll guide you on your journey from male fertility test to treatment. Motherhood IVF hospitals are among India’s leading fertility centers for different kinds of fertility treatments.
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