Infertility in Men
While infertility can be distressing for an Indian woman, men around the world view the ability to produce heirs as the ultimate sign of virility and India is no exception. Getting men to talk about their own infertility can be harder than pulling teeth but as in the case of everything else in Indian society, we have come a long way in addressing this issue. Unfortunately, there are still some men that are unwilling to consider the possibility that the infertility that they face as a couple could be due to the man. But for those that are more open to discussing these issues; there are many technologies that can have you starting a family sooner rather than later.
Causes of infertility in men
Low sperm count is the most common reason that men are found infertile. The complete absence of sperm in the semen is seen but is rare. Sperm count in men can be low because of many reasons, some of which are as follows.
When the pituitary gland is unable to stimulate the testicles sufficiently to produce testosterone, sperm count is found to be low. The insufficiency can result from problems with either the pituitary gland or the testicles themselves.
An unusually large twisted varicose being in the scrotum, not only causes extreme discomfort but also a low sperm count. This usually occurs on the left side. Varicoceles can be operated upon to address a man’s fertility, but otherwise they are left alone.
3.Retrograde and premature ejaculation
Some men ejaculate their sperm into the bladder rather than through the penis in a condition called retrograde ejaculation. For men that suffer from premature ejaculation, semen seldom has the opportunity to reach the egg for fertilization to occur.
4.Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs
Other issues that may affect a man’s sperm count are smoking, drugs and alcohol use, certain medications and chromosomal abnormalities.
Fertility treatments in men
Semen analysis is the first step in determining the health of a man’s sperm.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
If a man’s sperm count is low, a physician might recommend artificial insemination as a way of ensuring that the most number of sperm encounter the mature egg. This entails collecting a man’s semen, spinning the sperm down to make sure that the mixture contains nothing that can impede the sperm’s motility, and delivering it directly to the woman’s uterus through a syringe.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ISI)
If the sperm count is so low that insemination itself produces no results, your doctor will recommend intracytoplasmic sperm injection where the sperm is directly injected into the egg, which is then placed in the uterus, just like in vitro fertilization. This may also be recommended if the man has premature or retrograde ejaculation, where the sperm may have to be recovered from the bladder.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Just as in women that face infertility, in vitro fertilization can be very helpful in addressing sperm count and motility issues. Here, a woman’s mature eggs are harvested and mixed with the man’s sperm in a lab. Upon fertilization of these eggs, the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus in the hopes that implantation and a subsequent pregnancy will ensue.
Living with male infertility can be profoundly disappointing; therefore every effort to discuss this issue openly must be made. Many couples that have approached infertility as a combined endeavor have been blessed with pregnancies time and again. Most of all, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. The help is there if only you ask for it.