About the disease
Male infertility is inability of a man to impregnate a woman for a period longer than a year after continuous unprotected sex. According to American medical site Mayo Clinic, 15% of all couples worldwide are infertile. In half of these couples it is the man who is infertile. In most cases male infertility is caused by insufficient sperm production, impotence or testicle blockage which creates the obstruction of sperm delivery. Such obstruction can develop because of enlarged veins around the testicles. It can also be caused by slow sperm motility, when spermatozoids are not fast enough to reach the ovary. Hormonal disbalance, adverse environmental conditions, previous surgery in the groin or testicles area, smoking, infections can also contribute to male infertility.
Overall, if a man produces less than 15 million sperm per millimeter of semen, it becomes completely difficult for him to impregnate a woman. Also time when couple has sex is important.. Any time during the 5 days before ovulation and during ovulation is beneficial for conception of a child. If couple is regularly having sex in this period and woman is healthy, it is another indicator of male infertility.
- Small amount of sperm production
- Decreased sexual desire
- Trouble maintaining erection
- Problems with ejaculating
- Pain or swelling in the testicles
- Little amount of testosterone
- Discomfort in the prostate
- Semen sample test is the most common method for diagnosis of male fertility as it allows the doctors to determine sperm production count and motility of the spermatozoids. It can also show if there are any abnormalities in the sperm, caused by hormonal disbalance.
- Blood test shows if there is something wrong with Y chromosome, which is an indicator of genetic predisposition.
- Ultrasound of the groin and testicles determines if there any obstructions, which hamper the sperm flow or if there are enlarged veins.
Treatment of male infertility mostly depends on its underlying cause.
- Surgery is recommended if there is obstruction in the groin area, which needs to be removed. Surgery can also block off the enlarged veins and improve sperm transplantation.
- Antibiotic treatment is indicated when infertility is caused by infections.
- Hormonal therapy is used to normalize the production and function of hormones.
- Intrauterine insemination is a procedure when sperm of the man in injected directly into female's uterine to make sure it reaches the ovary. Such insemination is usually performed during the ovulation period.
In case infertility can not be treated, a couple is recommended adoption or artificial insemination using donor`s sperm.