15% of Couples Are Infertile
Facts About Male Infertility
Male infertility accounts for 40-50% of infertility in females, according to Lipshultz’s article, “Male Factor Infertility.”
This directly refers to women’s inability to get pregnant, due to male deficiencies in the semen and semen quality, low sperm production, or blockages preventing delivery of sperm. Currently, about 15% of couples are infertile, meaning they have had unprotected sex for a year or more without being able to conceive a child.
Symptoms of Male Infertility
- Having a low sperm count, meaning fewer than 39 million per ejaculation
- Inability to conceive a child
- Pain and swelling or a lump in the testicle area
- Problems with sexual function including problems with ejaculation, or maintaining an erection
Causes of Male Infertility
- DNA Damage
- Drugs, alcohol, tobacco smoking
- Medications including spermatogenesis, chemotherapy, anabolic steroids, cimetidine
- Post-testicular causes: infection, vas deferens obstruction, ejaculatory duct obstruction, retrograde ejaculation, impotence
- Strenuous riding including horseback riding and bicycle riding
- Testicular factors including age, genetic defects on the Y chromosome
A thorough past medical history will be evaluated, including sexual frequency, loss of libido, headaches, past family history and past surgeries. Then an exam will be performed on the penis, scrotum, testicles, rectum, and anus.
Usually, two separate semen analyses are performed to diagnose male infertility. A blood test may also be done to check for hormone imbalances, testosterone levels, and other genetic issues.
Several different medication options are available. Antibiotics may be used to treat an infection in the reproductive tract. Medications for erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation may be used as well. Along with hormone replacement.
If medication does not work, treatments may include intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI). Or you doctor may discuss options of using sperm from a donor or adoption.
- Avoid the use of lubricants & jellies. These have shown to reduce the number of sperm count
- Increase sex frequency. Having intercourse every other day at roughly the same time (while your partner is ovulating), can increase chances of getting pregnant.
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