Understanding Male Infertility
Male infertility is more prevalent than most people realize, and it’s a common misconception that infertility predominantly affects women. In reality, both genders are equally susceptible. Almost half of all fertility issues in couples originate from male-related factors.
Fertility Centers of New England is here to help guide you through different causes of male infertility, as well as diagnosis and treatment options that can help you grow your family.
Causes of Male Infertility
A myriad of factors, such as hormonal imbalances, testicular damage or malformations, genetic factors, and environmental influences, can cause infertility in males. Age-related causes of infertility also play a significant role, as do certain diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.
There are several signs of male infertility, including: Erectile dysfunction, ejaculation issues, and testicular pain or swelling.
Lifestyle Factors and Male Fertility
Lifestyle factors can also contribute to male infertility, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use. However, there are ways to improve male fertility naturally, such as making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or drinking less alcohol and getting more exercise.
Diagnosing Male Infertility
A physical exam is often the first step to diagnose male infertility, where a doctor checks for any physical abnormalities that might be causing infertility.
A semen analysis is another common diagnostic test, and evaluates sperm motility and morphology, as well as the number of sperm. In some cases, blood tests may be done to check hormone levels, or imaging tests like ultrasounds may be used to identify issues such as ejaculatory duct obstruction or retrograde ejaculation. Genetic testing can also be performed to identify if genetic defects are causing infertility.
Each of these options provides valuable insights into the potential causes of male infertility, enabling the most effective treatment plan to be established.
Male Infertility Treatment Options
If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that compromises your fertility, we are here to guide you along the way. There is a broad spectrum of treatment options for male infertility, each catering to specific causes or conditions.
Assisted reproductive technologies, such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), have revolutionized the field of fertility treatment. IVF involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body and then implanting the resulting embryo in the woman’s uterus. This technique can be particularly beneficial for men with low sperm count or motility issues.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a technique where a single live sperm is directly injected into the center of a human egg. This method is especially beneficial in cases of severe male factor infertility, as it allows fertilization even when normal IVF attempts have failed. By requiring only one sperm for fertilization, ICSI can significantly increase the chances of successful pregnancy.
Surgical interventions are another key treatment avenue. For instance, varicocele surgery is performed to repair enlarged veins in the scrotum (varicocele) that may be causing infertility. This procedure improves blood flow to the testicles, promoting better sperm production and quality. Other surgical procedures can help correct blockages in the tubes that transport sperm, enabling a clear path for sperm to reach the ejaculate.
Medicinal treatments also play a crucial role in managing male infertility. Various medications are available to treat hormonal imbalances affecting sperm production. These medicines work by regulating hormone levels, thereby improving the overall health and function of the reproductive system. Additionally, if infections are found to be impacting fertility, antibiotics or other appropriate medications can be prescribed to address these issues.
How Fertility Centers of New England Can Help
At Fertility Centers of New England, we offer a full spectrum of treatment options to diagnose and treat male infertility. With the right support and treatment plan, many men can successfully overcome this challenge and fulfill their dreams of parenthood.
Contact us today for a fertility consultation!