Traditionally, infertility in marriages was associated with women; nowadays, that’s not the case. Men can also be declared infertile. Male infertility hurts man’s ego and accepting it isn’t easy. Infertility in men is stressful, challenging and frustrating. Being unable to father an offspring makes men feel they are failing in an important responsibility. However, men infertility can be dealt with through fertility treatments for men and attain fertility. To have a clear picture of infertility, think of the following. The testicles produce sperm; epididymis stores the sperm until fully developed. Then the semen nourishes sperm; prostrate glands produce semen. During sex, ejaculation takes place. The process starting from the production of sperms to ejaculation relies on hormones, for example, testosterone. Men fertility is achievable through the right treatment and patience. Couples seek treatment after trying to have a child for one year without any success. The doctor will carry out tests for fertility.
Male Fertility Test
Men’s fertility entails production of healthy sperms. Also, the body should produce the hormone to start off and support sperm production. Additionally, Sperm should be transported to the semen and mix with it. Finally, the sperm must be adequate in your semen and move to get to your partner’s body for fertilization to take place. That defines male fertility. Fertility test for men is carried out in several ways. But to start with, you will have a sitting with your doctor and have a discussion on:
- Surgeries you have gone through if any
- Medications you have taken or still taking
- How often you exercise
- Recreational drugs that you take and if you smoke
- Your sex life- you have to be candid and inform the doctor if you have contracted STDs (sexually transmitted disease) in the past
After the discussions, some tests will be carried out to get to the bottom of your infertility. What is male infertility? It is being unable to cause a pregnancy in a fertile female. The following tests will be carried out:
- Analysis of sperm and semen. Semen contains sperm, sugar as well as protein substances. Semen is released via ejaculation. An expert does a thorough check on your sperm like sperm count that is the amount of sperm, shape, movement and physical appearance. Blockage of tubes can cause absence of sperm in the semen. Please note that your testicles produce sperms, but it becomes a challenge to transport the sperms to where they are meant to be. The semen is also checked to detect infections. Sperms in the testicles may be normal; however, sperms contained by the semen may be less in number and abnormal. In rare occasions, your semen may not contain sperms at all! Several analyses must be carried out to get accurate results.
- Physical examination. The doctor investigates your body, for example, checking your genitals to check for any signs of infertility in men.
- Hormonal evaluation. Hormones such as progesterone play a fundamental role in sperm formation. You provide a blood sample to measure testosterone levels, including the levels of other hormones.
- Genetic testing. Low sperm concentration can be due to genetics. A blood sample is needed.
- Urinalysis. It is used to detect infection and the presence of sperm in the urine. If sperm are detected in the urine, you have a condition referred to retrograde ejaculation (it is one of the signs of infertility in men)
- Testicular biopsy. The doctor inserts a needle to the testicles and gets a sample to test for sperm production (if it is normal or abnormal).
Signs and Symptoms of Male Fertility
Signs of male infertility can be hard to detect. Many men aren’t concerned about infertility until later in marriage. Male infertility signs are vague. You should be keen to detect infertility in men signs. The cause of infertility determines male infertility symptoms you will experience. The prominent symptom of male infertility is the inability to make your spouse pregnant after having active sexual intercourse in one year; although there are other symptoms of male infertility that you can note. If you devote your time and energy, you will observe the following symptoms of infertility in men:
- Pain and swelling (lump) on the area of the testicles
- Persistent respiratory infections
- Lack of ability to smell
- Gynecomastia (breast enlargement)
- Low sperm count
- Small and firm testicles
Causes of Male Infertility
Are you curious to understand what causes infertility in men? Male infertility causes are countless. There are factors that determine causes of infertility in men like, health issues, medications, environment and the kind of lifestyle that one leads. The following is what causes male infertility:
- Varicocele- the condition was mentioned previously. How it influnces infertility is unknown; though it can be linked to low sperm quality.
- Having challenges with your sexual functions, for example, difficulties ejaculation and ejaculating a small amount of fluid, decrease in the desire to have sex and erectile dysfunction (inability to maintain an erection.)
- Infections-some infections restrict sperm production, compromise the health of the sperms or obstruct sperm motility. Diseases can include inflammation of the epididymis, testicles inflammation, sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and gonorrhea. Infections can damage the testicles permanently!
- Ejaculation challenges, for example, retrograde ejaculation. In retrograde ejaculation, semen is passed together with urine. Why does this happen? During ejaculation, the semen goes into the bladder instead of it coming out via the penis. Conditions responsible for retrograde ejaculation are diabetes, injuries of the spine, some drugs, and surgeries (like surgery on urethra, prostate, and bladder)
- The presence of antibodies- some antibodies attacks your sperm; they wrongly detect sperm to be harmful attackers and eliminate the sperms.
- Hormonal imbalance of reproductive hormones. Extreme low testosterone levels (hypogonadism) are a cause of male infertility. Additionally, disorders affecting pituitary glands, adrenal and thyroid glands can result in infertility.
- Tumors-cancers can develop on reproductive organs and hormone releasing glands like pituitary glands. Also, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery compromise male fertility.
- Undescended testicles, you are born with this kind of condition; it is traced back in fetal development, one testicle (sometimes both testicles can be affected) doesn’t descend into the scrotum from your abdomen.
- Defects of tubes. Tubes transport sperm. Blockage of the tubes can occur as a result of injury due to surgery, infections, and cystic fibrosis. The tubes, van deference and epididymis can be blocked. Blockages are reasons for male infertility.
- Chromosome defects- syndromes such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, kallmann’s syndrome and kartagener’s syndrome cause male infertility. Males born with Klinefelter’s syndrome have one Y and two X chromosomes; the abnormalities in chromosomes lead to abnormalities in the reproductive organs. Normally, a male should have an X, Y chromosome combination.
- Issues while having sexual intercourse like the inability to maintain an erection, painful sex and premature ejaculation.
- The celiac disease. It is an autoimmune disorder caused by taking gluten foods. The disease harms small intestines and causes male infertility.
- Some medications like using anabolic steroids for a long time and ulcer treatment medications has adverse effects on male fertility
- The absence of Vas deference. It is a genetic condition that causes infertility; you are born with the condition
Being exposed to certain environmental conditions and lifestyle can cause infertility in men. The following are sources of infertility due to the environment and the kind of lifestyle one leads:
- Industrial chemicals- constant exposure to benzene, toluene, pesticides, herbicides and some paints can result in low sperm count.
- Metal exposure like lead which is contained in drinking water puts you at risk of infertility.
- X-rays- being subjected to radiation lowers sperm production.
- Overheating testicles-high temperatures disrupts sperm production as well as their role. Using hot tubs, sitting for long hours, tight fitting clothes and placing laptop on your laps can overheat the testicles and lead to infertility.
- Using illicit drug like anabolic steroids results in muscle growth, strength and muscle mass. The medications shrink the testicles and interfere with sperm production. Marijuana lowers sperm count and sperm quality.
- Tobacco smoking – smokers have low sperm count, furthermore, the smoke you inhale while smoking can interfere with male fertility.
- Stress-high levels of stress disrupt reproductive hormones required for sperm production.
- Weight- obesity affects fertility.
- Some occupations like welding and driving commercial vehicles. Driving involves sitting at one place for long periods which overheats your testicles and harms your fertility.
How to Increase Male Fertility
Male fertility is a man’s pride. There are several ways to increase male fertility. Don’t be discouraged nor lose hope. Many men have successfully made it through why not you? Follow the guidelines to improve male fertility. It takes approximately three months for the formation and maturation of sperms before being ejaculated. What does this mean? You have almost 90 days to work towards boosting male fertility before making your spouse pregnant. Examine your lifestyle habits from what you eat to how often you exercise if at all you do. Live a healthy life. Allow your spouse to walk with you. You can also join a support group to get mentors to support you. The beauty is that you will have an opportunity to share your frustrations and have a shoulder to lean on. Having healthy sperms isn’t automatic. It takes time, effort and dedication to increasing male fertility. Eventually, infertility will be part of your history. You will become a mentor to many and lead them through by sharing your personal experience; many will love to be associated with you. You will be their hero.
Try out the following male fertility tips:
- Live a stress-free life
- Stop overheating the testicles
- Engage in sex on a regular basis
- Avoid exposing yourself to chemicals
- Ate balanced diet-eat fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly but do it in moderation
- Take supplements like zinc, oysters and lean meat
- Use herbal boosters to increase male fertility
- Drink water to stay hydrated always
- Quit smoking and taking illicit drugs
Male Infertility Treatment
Fertility tips for men listed above show how to improve male fertility naturally. The tips have worked for many men. Don’t expect to follow the tips in a week and expect instant results. You have to be patient and persistent. Also, don’t be limited by the above tips, consult members of your support group to identify what worked for each of them. However, if you continue experiencing male fertility problems, you can seek fertility aid for men from a health facility so as to have a solution. There are innumerable options to male infertility treatment. Consult your doctor to guide you and get the best treatment that will suit you. The goal of male infertility treatment is to help you make a baby.
The following are treatments for male infertility:
- Surgery- mainly used to correct varicocele. During surgery, the abnormal veins are blocked. This can significantly increase fertility in male.
- Antibiotic treatment to clear infections.
- Fertility medications and counseling to deal with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.
- Hormonal therapy to correct hormonal imbalance; the doctor puts you on medication to balance your hormones especially testosterone hormone.
- ART (assisted reproductive technology) it is the final solution to fertility treatment for men. ART entails getting semen via ejaculation, extracting sperms surgically or getting sperm donors and inserting the sperms in your spouse’s body via In Vitro Fertilization.
The above points answer the question how to treat male infertility. The journey towards attaining fertility is not for the faint. It calls for endurance. Male fertility treatments are effective in dealing with infertility. Your doctor will perform the test on a regular basis to examine the progress of infertility treatment for men. Many men shy off from the fact that they are infertile. But you know what, being silent won’t solve your infertility. It will make you become a victim of depression.
If treatment for male infertility doesn’t yield results in the first few months, don’t give up. Talk to the doctor about your concerns and follow what he will tell you. Remember, the doctor is an expertise and it is advisable to follow what he says. He knows the best fertility treatments for men. After all, you consulted him to get fertility aid for men.
Male Fertility Age
It is important to note that age is a contributing factor to male infertility. As you age, sperm quality and motility reduce. As you advance in years, it becomes difficult for your partner to conceive. Male fertility age starts at the mid-20s. Men fertility age is important to avoid having children with disorders such as Down syndrome and autism. Male fertility declines significantly from the age of 40 years, making it difficult to cause a pregnancy, and if it happens you wife is at risk of having a miscarriage. At 40 years, the testosterone levels start to decline. Male fertility and age go hand in hand. When a man grows older, fertility level falls; though you will produce sperm throughout your life, the quality of your sperm decreases every single year. Although there is nothing that can be done as far as infertility due to age is concerned, you can have children early enough to avoid disorders that can affect your offspring due to age.
You have the necessary information on reasons for male infertility and what can be done to treat infertility. Be on the lookout so that you can identify symptoms and signs of infertility. Don’t wait for the last minute rush. Yes, dealing with infertility is traumatic, but with the right treatment, you can get back your fertility. The fertility treatments and tips for fertility may not be effective to everyone. You have to explore other alternatives. Some causes of infertility are inborn, and nothing much can be done to correct the conditions. It becomes impossible to have a child. What’s the way forward? You can opt to look for a sperm donor or go for child adoption to fulfill your dream of being a father.