What is it and what are the possible causes
Did you know 30% of fertility problems are male related!
Male infertility refers to a male’s lack of capacity to help a fertile female fall pregnant whilst trying to conceive.
There is a large amount of false information, misleading facts and general misconceptions on the internet about male infertility.
Every person is different. So it’s best to speak to a male fertility specialist like Dr. Myran who can explore your unique issues and provide advise specific to your situation.
Just the idea of undertaking an infertility investigation can be very confronting for a man. In most cases it’s surprisingly easy to assess infertility in men.
The major causes of male infertility may include:
A block or the absence of tubes (potentially due to an injury or vasectomy) are the cause of around one in three cases of male infertility.
A low sperm count and/or poor sperm quality can be an underlying factor in male infertility. This could be caused by genetic factors such as the male chromosome missing. This may cause:
Functional problems that may cause male infertility:
Definition with the help of State Government of Victoria -National Health System United Kingdom
The pituitary gland and the hypothalamus influence hormone production in the testicles. A relatively uncommon cause of male infertility is the failure to make enough of the hormone gonadotrophin.
Diagnosing male infertility may involve:
Please remember – Investigating suspected causes of infertility requires testing for both partners.
To help improve your fertility, avoid:
As a fertility specialist, I don’t take a “one size fits all” approach to treating male infertility. I will ensure you understand your fertility treatment options so you can confidently choose the most appropriate action based on thorough investigation, assessment, expert clinical advice and what you and your partner feel comfortable with undertaking.
I have a sensitive and understanding approach to fertility. I will ensure you are guided through this emotional time to give you the best opportunity to start a family.
Testing of a males semen is done via a semen analysis. The results outline:
Number of sperm – A higher sperm count is a requirement for normal fertility. A lower sperm count may hinder you in having success starting a family.
Sperm size and shape – Abnormal shape sperm may find it difficult to swim through the fallopian tubes and reach an egg and/or not be successful in penetrating an egg for fertilisation.
Motility – Is an important factor as it indicates the sperms ability to swim through the female reproductive tract to reach the egg to initialise fertilisation.
No Sperm – No sperm in a sample doesn’t necessarily indicate you don’t have sperm. Further investigation through a minimally invasive procedure known as a testicular biopsy may reveal more.
Treatment of male infertility is based from the results of the above investigations combined with my (Dr. Myran’s) extensive knowledge of fertility.
Male infertility can be caused by the lack of a hormone called gonadotropins. The pituitary gland in the brain releases gonadotropins to help the testicles to produce sperm. Taking gonadotropins as a medication may help boost sperm production.
Artificial insemination is the process where the man’s semen is collected, washed and concentrated, then introduced into the partner’s uterus through the cervix.
This option may be best used when:
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is where sperm is collected from the man and eggs are collected from the women. Both sperm and the eggs are placed in a special incubator to assist in fertilisation. The fertilised eggs develop into embryos, which are then implanted into the woman’s uterus.
In some circumstances a male’s semen may contain low quality or too few normal sperm to make fertilisation possible through IVF. So intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used.
Eggs are harvested from the woman’s ovaries and each egg is injected with a single sperm. The fertilised eggs develop into embryos that are transferred into the woman’s uterus at the appropriate time.
Tablets or injections may be prescribed to assist with erectile function.
Exploration of the testis may be used to ascertain if the testicals have undergone any trauma, showing any signs of disease or effects from medication that may be inhibiting them from producing healthy sperm.
A testicular biopsy is the process where a small sample of tissue is removed from one or both testicles. The sample is examined under a microscope to help evaluate the potential causes of male infertility.
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