What are the Causes and Treatments of Male Infertility?
- Posted on: Mar 28 2015
Being diagnosed with infertility can be as difficult for a man as for a woman. For many, it can be emotionally devastating and lead to feelings of weakness or powerlessness. Facing the idea that one may be unable to father a child can be extremely difficult. And unfortunately, not all male infertility problems can be solved with treatment. But for many, advances in male infertility treatment can help.
Causes of male infertility
Male factors contribute to problems with infertility as much as half the time, and about thirty percent of the time, they’re the main cause of it. When this occurs, the problem usually involves difficulties with either producing sperm altogether or producing a moving healthy sperm. Low sperm counts and abnormally developed sperm can occur for a number of different reasons. They include:
- Hormone imbalances
- Complications related to chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer
- Variocele, in which there is an abnormal collection of bulging veins above the testicle
- Undescended testicle
- Infections of the testicle, prostate, or other locations in the body that result in fever
- Genetic abnormalities
- Obesity, unhealthy lifestyle
- Illicit drug use
- Testicular Failure
- Certain medications such as anti-seizure medication or anabolic steroids
However a large number of men with abnormal sperm do not have a cause for the low sperm count, low motility or abnormally shaped sperm.
Treatments of male
Male infertility treatments have the ultimate goal of resulting in a pregnancy. Hopefully, the reasons for the infertility will be reversible and/or treatable, and the couple will be able to conceive naturally once the infertility treatments have been successful. Common treatments for male infertility include:
- Medication to correct hormone imbalances
- Minimally invasive surgery to repair varioceles. Data is controversial on whether varicocele repairs improve fertility and pregnancy rates. There is data that the sperm count increases but there is very little data to suggest improvement in fertility.
- Surgery or medication to treat obstruction in the sperm transport apparatus
In cases involving low sperm count or production of abnormal sperm that lack motility, assisted reproductive techniques are also available.
These include artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which the physician directly injects the sperm into the egg. When male infertility factor is the cause of difficulty conceiving, these treatments often result in successful pregnancies.
Posted in: Infertility Treatment