Male infertility is any health issue in a man that lowers the chances of his female partner getting pregnant.
About 13 out of 100 couples can’t get pregnant with unprotected sex. There are many causes of infertility in men and women. In over a third of infertility cases, the problem is with the man. This is most often due to problems with his sperm production or sperm delivery.
What Happens Under Normal Conditions?
The man’s body makes tiny cells called sperm. During sex, ejaculation normally delivers the sperm into the woman’s body. The male reproductive system makes stores and transports sperm. Chemicals in your body called hormones to control this. Sperm and male sex hormone (testosterone) are made in the 2 testicles. The testicles are in the scrotum, a sack of skin below the penis. When the sperm leaves the testicles, they go into a tube behind each testicle. This tube is called the epididymis.
Just before ejaculation, the sperm goes from the epididymis into another set of tubes. These tubes are called the vas deferens. Each vas deferens leads from the epididymis to behind your bladder in the pelvis. There each vas deferens joins the ejaculatory duct from the seminal vesicle. When you ejaculate, the sperm mixes with fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicles. This forms semen. The semen then travels through the urethra and out of the penis.
Male fertility depends on your body making normal sperm and delivering them. The sperm goes into the female partner’s vagina. The sperm travels through her cervix into her uterus to her fallopian tubes. There, if a sperm and egg meet, fertilization happens.
The system only works when genes, hormone levels, and environmental conditions are right. Male infertility refers to the inability of a male to make a fertile female pregnant. It is usually due to semen deficiencies.
Male Infertility Causes
- The factors may be pre-testicular, testicular or post-testicular.
- Pre-testicular: Drugs, smoking, alcohol, medications affecting spermatogenesis (spironolactone, chemotherapy).
- Testicular: Age, genetic defects, carcinoma, varicocele, trauma, hydrocele, mumps, idiopathic.
- Post-testicular: These defects include the defects in the genital tract and ejaculation problems.
Diagnosis of Male infertility:
Diagnostic tools include medical history, physical examination, semen analysis, blood analysis to rule out hormonal imbalances or genetic issues. Patient’s partner can also be interviewed.
Male Infertility Treatment:
The treatment modalities depend upon the underlying disease and extent of impairment. Pre-testicular issues can be rectified by medicines. Testicular based infertility is usually medication resistant. Post-testicular infertility can be overcome by surgery.
In infertility condition, the female fertility should also be checked.