Male Fertility

What is male fertility?

Under normal conditions, the production of sperm cells is produced by a complex process of cell division that occurs in the testicles over a period of several months. They then leave the testicle and are stored in the epididymis where they fully develop. In addition to needing a favorable environment (i.e. adequate levels of testosterone and a slightly decreased scrotal temperature) to grow and mature, they need the presence of an intact genetic blueprint. Once fully mature, they are then pushed through the vas deferens and urethra during ejaculation.

When a man is unable to produce or deliver fully-functioning sperm, the result is known as male infertility.

What causes male infertility?

Male reproductive issues affects up to 50 percent of couples experiencing difficulty in attempting to conceive a baby and may be caused by a number of factors, which include:

  • Sperm disorders
  • Varicoceles
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Immunologic infertility
  • Obstruction
  • Hormones
  • Genetics
  • Medication

Symptoms?

The most common sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. Additional signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
  • Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality
  • Problems with sexual function including difficulty with ejaculation or difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Having a lower than normal sperm count

How is male infertility diagnosed?

Your health care expert will assess your condition based on your symptoms, medical history and a physical exam followed by blood work and semen analysis.

Your physician may also recommend additional tests, which can include:

  • Scrotal ultrasound
  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • Hormone testing
  • Post-ejaculation urinalysis
  • Genetic tests
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Anti-sperm antibody tests
  • Specialized sperm function tests

Treatments

Since the exact cause of infertility canít often be identified, your physician will recommend various care options to help the path to parenthood, which may include:

  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

In some cases, no treatment is available. However, many times a mix of the above mentioned ways might help to overcome many of the underlying fertility problems.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact us at (864) 295-2131.