Understanding Male Infertility- What Are Its Causes, Treatments & More

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: May 22, 2014 | Last Updated: Sep 28, 2018

Causes of Male Infertility

On-third of infertility cases are caused by men, reports say. It is then safe to say that infertility is not a solitary concern faced by women. Male infertility is a challenging issue for men and often, embarrassing. Unfortunately, there is no better way to cope with infertility but to face the problem and undergo treatment as early as possible.

Do you know that 25% of men infertility cases are classified as idiopathic wherein men have abnormally low sperm quantity for no identifiable cause.

Overview on Male Infertility

  • Definition: Male infertility is a medical condition wherein the male is unable to achieve pregnancy in his female partner. Majority of male infertility cases are caused by poor semen quantity and quality.
  • Anatomy Review: Sperms are created in the testicles and stored in the epididymis a thread-like structure situated on top of every testicle. Sperms are nurtured by semen.
    Note: there are 150 MILLION sperm per ejaculation, that is half-teaspoon of semen!
  • The Process of Fertilization: Every month, the woman ovulates and releases an egg into the uterus through fallopian tubes. The most fertile days of woman are 4 to 5 days before the ovulation day. Therefore, when sexual activity is performed at this period, pregnancy is highly possible.
  • Types of Male Infertility: Types of infertility in men are classified according to issues or sources. There are four types of male infertility namely hormonal, ejaculation issues, testicular problem and sperm problem.

Symptoms of Infertility in Men

Infertility problem in men is quite challenging since they elicit lesser symptoms and in most cases, they are subclinical which means they are not obvious in the early stage. Signs of men infertility are decreased in sexual desire, lumpy testicles, premature ejaculation and abnormal hair growth.

10 Most Common Causes of Infertility in Men

The reasons for male infertility are many and varied. The following are the major causes why men are unable to conceive in a fertile woman.

  • Testicular failure such as undescended testes
  • Absent, deformed or damaged testicles due to physical injury
  • Blockages in the testicles and urethra as a result of physical blow and damage
  • Chronic illnesses such as AIDS, HIV
  • Exposure to environmental poisons such as chemical agents, pesticides and stress
  • Lack of essential nutrients particularly B vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin D
  • Low sperm count which is defined as having less than 20 million sperm per ml of semen
  • Hormonal problem such as testosterone
  • Cancer treatment specifically chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Infection – gonorrhea, chlamydia

Tests to Confirm Male Infertility

Getting tests for infertility is as essential as the woman’s case. The earlier you go for testing, the earlier the problem is addressed. A professional that specializes on men fertility is urologist.

  • Semen Analysis: The more normally-shaped sperms, the higher the fertility. To confirm the result of semen analysis, the test should be performed twice.
  • Biopsy: A testicular biopsy confirms the sperm quantity.

Treatments for Male Infertility

The good news is that male infertility is reversible in nearly all cases, and there is a wide array of treatment options available. The following are some of them.

  • Surgical procedures to correct obstruction.
  • Fertility drugs for hormonal abnormalities.
  • Assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) when traditional methods don’t work. ART provides artificial boost to sperms to come in contact with the egg.
  • Anti-sperm antibodies are indicated to men who produce antibodies that thwart sperms from uniting with the egg.

Natural Home Remedies for Male Infertility

If you are not ready for medical and surgical treatments for male infertility, consider these simple ways on how to maximize fertility on your own.

  • Avoid harmful substances such as illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco (nicotine).
  • Avoid whirlpools and hot baths. Excessive heat can slow down sperm production.
  • Consult a doctor before taking any OTC drugs. Testosterone preparations and DHEA have negative effect on fertility.
  • Improve quality of living by managing stress, taking enough sleep and rest, exercising regularly and improving nutrition.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excessive weight can disrupt hormone production which may result in infertility.
  • Take multivitamins. Fertility multivitamins include folic acid, vitamin C, zinc and vitamin E.
  • Wear boxers than briefs. Testicles when closest to the body slow down the production of sperms as a result of too much body heat.
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