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Male fertility issues

Infertility is a common issue, especially in present society. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse. Around one third of infertility in couples have male fertility issues. Sperm health is important when couples want to get pregnant. Male fertility issues could affect the chances of pregnancy due to poor sperm health.

What are symptoms of male infertility?

The main sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive after trying for more than a year.
However, in some cases, you may notice some symptoms such as:

1. Problems with sexual functions

Issues may include difficulty maintaining an erection, reduced sexual desire, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated. These issues may have profound effect on male fertility.

2. Pain, swelling or lump in testicle area

Testicular pain, swelling and lump may be caused by trauma, inflammation, varicocele (abnormally large veins near the testicles) or testicular cancer which could sometimes affect the ability to have children.

 

What are the causes of male infertility?

There are many factors that causes male infertility. Some of which are listed below:

1. Problems with sexual intercourse.
These can include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or psychological problems.

2. Weight.
Being overweight may cause hormone changes in the body and adversely affect male fertility.

3. Excessive alcohol consumption.
Excessive alcohol intake may lower testosterone levels and causes decrease in sperm production. Liver disease caused by excessive alcohol intake may cause fertility issues.

4. Tobacco smoking.
Smoking can lead to lower sperm count. Second-hand smoke also may have adverse impact on male fertility.

5. Medication.
Some medication such as antibiotics may have adverse effects on male fertility.

6. Radiation or X-rays.
High exposure to radiation such as in cancer treatment, may permanently reduce sperm production.

7. Trauma or injuries.
Sport activities, accidents and injuries can cause testicular trauma which may cause infertility.

 

How is male fertility diagnosed?

Male infertility can be hard to diagnose. The issues with male infertility are often with sperm production. Your fertility doctor may start with understanding your full medical history. Some may conduct a physical examination or order a semen analysis or a transrectal ultrasound.

1. Understanding your medical history

By examining your full medical history, the doctor can better understand possible underlying issues that may cause infertility. Important information on current health problems, medication, alcohol and/or tobacco consumption must be conveyed to your doctor as any of these factors may determine the causes which affect fertility.

2. Physical examination

Physical examination looks for possible problems in the penis, epididymis (a tube that stores and carries sperm), vas deferens (a long tube that transport sperm from epididymis to urethra for ejaculation) and testicles.

3. Semen analysis

Semen analysis is a common laboratory test to assess the sperm production. It provides information regarding the sperm production and sperm health.

 

How do I know if my sperms are healthy?

There are tests available to assess your sperm health. These tests are generally called “semen analysis”. Interested couples who are trying to conceive or are concerned about their fertility after failing to get pregnant for some time, may get your sperm health checked by visiting a fertility clinic.

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