Roughly 15% of couples are infertile. Male infertility is responsible for almost 50% of infertility in these couples. The term infertility refers to partners who have been trying to get pregnant for at least one year with unprotected sexual intercourse (usually 6 months for women over 35) and have been unsuccessful in their attempt to achieve fertilization.
The problems causing male infertility include improperly shaped sperm, low sperm count, overall motility of sperm, and/or blockage of the tubes through which sperm travel. Chronic health issues, choices in lifestyle, injuries, illness, and disease are some of the primary factors that cause male infertility.
Couple infertility is often an emotionally stressful experience. Fortunately several treatments are available and proper medical assistance often proves successful.
Penile damage, trauma, torsion, cryptorchidism and illness (i.e. mumps) can be assessed by recording a medical history. Environmental factors, high temperature exposure, contact with radioactive materials, use of non-proscription (narcotics, alcohol, smoking, and anabolic steroids) and prescription drugs, may potentially contribute to couple infertility.
A comprehensive medical history of both partners may look at difficulties in past pregnancies and/or infertility issues with the same or different partners. Sexual practices may be assessed (i.e. frequency and timing). The genetic history for both families is typically incorporated into the evaluation.
Other considerations include the possibility of thyroid imbalance and liver disease, diabetic factors, and any surgeries that may have created damage to the genital area. Pituitary tumors have also been linked to male infertility.
The penis, scrotum, testicles, anus, and rectum may be checked for potential problems. While uncomfortable, an exam of this nature will help to rule out many male infertility factors.
Semen/sperm samples will assess sperm count and motility. An increased sperm count with unusual morphology and reduced motility are concerns that may contribute to infertility. Types of deficiencies include such factors as diminished number (or total lack) of spermatozoa and inadequate amounts of seminal fluid.
FSH levels and testosterone levels may be checked with simple blood tests and can check for Y chromosome difficulties, curtain syndromes, and cystic fibrosis.
Many contributing factors can be controlled. For example the use of nicotine products, marijuana, alcohol, and heat exposure may be reduced or eliminated.
Sexual intercourse that occurs too frequently or infrequently may adversely affect sperm production. Protective sport’s wear can help to prevent injury to the groin.
An infertility cure depends on proper information and treatment. In order to better understand the reason for couple infertility it is recommended that the couple obtain as much information as possible. There are many resources and books available on the market.