Traditionally, infertility has always been considered exclusively a female problem. However, current statistics is as follows: in 30% of couples infertility has to do with issues of a woman's body, while in the other 30% - of the male body.
Another 30% of couples suffer of infertility caused by a combination of issues in both partners, and only in 10% of cases the cause of infertility cannot be identified.
There are many caused to male infertility. Here are some of them.
An expert doctor Ludmila Artsybysheva will help us to get better understanding of these possible causes.
The ability of a male to conceive is determined by genetic factors. If close relatives (father or brother) suffered from infertility, there are good chances that this man will also have reduced fertility (ability to conceive).
The main reason for male infertility is sperm pathology. The issues may range from a complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) to its quality. Chances of successful conception are reduced if the amount of sperm is not sufficient (oligospermia). If this is accompanied by the decrease of mobility and deviation from the normal shape of sperm, pregnancy becomes even less likely.
Sperm pathology may be caused by various factors. For many men it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of the deterioration of sperm quality. Negative effects may be caused by smoking, alcohol, drugs, and frequent overheating (for example in the sauna), or work associated with prolonged sitting.
One of the most common causes of male infertility is also infections, even if they were contracted in adolescence. They are able to influence male fertility. Usually the effect is temporary, but in the case of infections caused by sexually transmitted diseases, the consequences could be far worse.
Men who once recovered from mumps should always inform their doctor about it. In most cases, the virus that causes mumps affects the parotid gland. Such a course of the disease has no negative impact on male fertility. However, in some cases, the disease is complicated by orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) which causes decreased function of the affected testicle in 30% of males. Subsequently, this could cause a decrease in sperm count in men and reduce its mobility.
Chlamydial infection and gonorrhea are the diseases which in the absence of effective treatment often lead to impaired fertility. Even if chlamydial infection or gonorrhea occurred many years ago, and the treatment took place, complications from the disease may be identified.
Recurrent inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract in men do not necessarily indicate issues with fertility. However, men should talk about them with their doctor because they can be a symptom of immune disorders, which, in turn, affect the ability to conceive.
Pain and testicular swelling can be a symptom of its inflammation or inflammation of the epididymis. Since both organs play a crucial role in the production of sperm, to prevent fertility problems they should be treated as effectively as any pathologic processes in the testis and its appendages.
Varicose veins of the spermatic cord may also have a negative impact on the quality of sperm in men. Issues of venous drainage from the scrotum contribute to the increase in local temperature and create adverse conditions for the normal maturation of sperm.
The most important thing in infertility treatment is timely and correct diagnosis. For a man, a necessary first test is a sperm test that determines the number, motility, shape and viability of sperm.
Typically, a week before the test it is recommended to be sexually active for 3-4 days, and 3 days before actually visiting the doctor's office the patient needs complete rest, which excludes any expression of sexual activity. All this time, that is, preparation for the test, a man should rule out any use of alcohol and drugs and try not to overheat. Also, if the patient's partner recently suffered from any inflammatory disease, or is ill during this period, it is necessary to postpone the test to a later date, up to a full recovery, when the sperm is not threatened.
If the semen test shows a deviation from the norm, it should be repeated. The interval between repeat semen tests should be at least 3 months. This is due to the fact that the full cycle of development of sperm takes 3 months. The assessment of fertility of sperm is required for the correct choice of treatment for infertile couples. For example, if a man has reduced sperm count or reduced motility, it is necessary to resort to assisted reproductive technologies, without wasting time on ineffective methods of conservative treatment.
To date, the overall effectiveness of infertility treatments is over 50%.
The application of modern techniques allows establishing the cause in 99.6% of married couples in 2-3 months, and in 12-15 months achieving the restoration of fertility in 70% of couples.