If you are visiting this website, you may have concerns that you or a loved one are experiencing some form of male infertility. It may surprise you to find out that when a couple is trying to conceive and can’t, 40% of the time male factor infertility is the cause and another 30% of the time, a combination of male and female factor infertility is at the root of the problem.
Evaluation and Diagnoses for Common Types of Male Factor Infertility
First things first. We know that this is a very difficult time for you but we also want you to have hope. Most forms of male infertility respond very well to different types of treatment. Our Male Reproductive Health library will be able to provide you with information on over-all reproductive health, lifestyle factors that affect male factor infertility, and an abundant amount of information on causes, tests, and treatments.
If you suspect male factor infertility is your issue, your urologist will recommend a semen analysis. This will provide information on sperm count, motility and mobility. Further testing may be done to determine if you have a varicocele, or Klinefelter’s Syndrome. A DNA fragmentation sperm test may also be performed. You will be assessed for antisperm antibodies and obstructions such as retrograde ejaculation, as well as for pituitary pathologies and endocrine disorders. These tests will go a long way towards determining the issue at hand, however, couples who are trying to conceive will not receive a definitive diagnosis around 12%-25% of the time. This is called unexplained infertility and is sometimes thought to be the interplay of factors existing in both partners.
Your doctor will want to discuss your history of childhood diseases such as mumps, any history of undescended testicles, athletic or wartime injuries you may have experienced, and hernia repairs you may have had.
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Lifestyle Factors Affecting Male Reproductive Health
Men have a biological clock too. While you can’t control your age, there are other factors that are within your power to change. Your weight and lifestyle habits can and do affect your fertility potential.
Your sexual history may have an impact on your reproductive and overall health. You should be tested and treated for any sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) you may have, as well as urinary tract infections.
Obesity, exposure to chemical toxins, alcohol and drug and cigarette smoking can affect sperm quality. You should discuss any prescription medications and vitamins you are currently taking with your doctor as well as your exercise and eating habits.
Anabolic steroid use depresses testicular production of testosterone and can severely affect sperm quality.
Hot tubs and saunas should be avoided, as should keeping a hot computer on your lap for extended periods of time.
You should also make sure that any lubricants you are currently using during sex are not hostile to sperm.
Treatments for Male Factor Infertility
Your physician will discuss potential treatment options with you. These may include lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, or hormonal therapies. If you and your partner are trying to conceive, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) will be discussed. In some cases, the use of a sperm donor may be considered.
Remember That the Future is Bright!
Click here to access The AFA’s professional directory, which includes therapists, reproductive endocrinologists, and urologists that have a special interest in male infertility.