Four Things to Know About Male Infertility
Are you trying to fall pregnant? Fertility takes two to tango; you need to consider the possibility that if you are having problems conceiving, male infertility may be a factor.
For the majority of couples, making a baby is a relatively simple and natural experience. In some cases, however, couples run into problems when trying to conceive.
1. Male infertility: What is it?
In general, the quantity and quality of a man’s sperm are what determines his fertility. If the sperm is of poor quality or the number of sperm he ejaculates is low, it may be difficult for him to bring about a pregnancy.
It is not until testing has taken place of both partners, with reproductive problems identified in the male results, that male infertility is formally diagnosed.
2. How common is male infertility?
Infertility is a problem that is widespread. The ratio is generally one couple in every five where the fertility problem is solely attributed to the male partner. It is estimated that one in twenty men have low numbers of sperm in their ejaculation, resulting in fertility issues. The ratio of men with no sperm at all less common; closer to one man in every one hundred.
3. What are the symptoms of male infertility?
Ordinarily, there are no clear signs of fertility problems. Ejaculation, erections and intercourse will generally happen without any difficulty. To the naked eye, the appearance and the quantity of the ejaculated semen usually appear normal.
Medical tests are required to confirm if a man is infertile.
4. What causes male infertility?
It is usually brought about by problems that affect either the transportation of the sperm or production of the sperm. By conducting medical tests, your doctor may be able to find the cause of the issue.
Around two-thirds of infertile men have difficulty making sperm in the testes. Either the sperm that is made don’t work properly, and/or the numbers of sperm made are low.
Sperm transport problems are identified in around one in every five infertile men. This number includes those men who have previously had a vasectomy but now are trying to have (more) children. Blockages (or obstructions) in the tubes that lead the sperm away from the testes to the penis can be the reason for a complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen.
There are some less common causes of infertility. These include:
- Sexual problems that have an impact on whether semen is able to enter the woman’s vagina for fertilisation to take place (this generally impacts upon around one in one hundred infertile couples);
- Low hormone levels made in the pituitary gland that act on the testes (about one in one hundred infertile men are affected by this); and
- Sperm antibodies (found in around one in sixteen infertile men). Generally, sperm antibodies in men will not have an effect the chance of a pregnancy; however in some cases, this results in
What to do if you think male infertility is affecting your chances of pregnancy
See Dr Neil Wallman at Gold Coast Women’s Health and Conception Centre for a private consultation. Dr Wallman has a keen interest in male infertility and is extremely experienced in treating and managing this problem for couples who are trying to start or expand their family. Offering comprehensive fertility care from our Gold Coast suites, you will be in the best hands with Dr Wallman.