Male infertility is any health issue in a man that lowers the chances of his female partner getting pregnant.
About 13 out of 100 couples can’t get pregnant with unprotected sex. There are many causes for infertility in men and women. In over a third of infertility cases, the problem is with the man. This is most often due to problems with his sperm production or with sperm delivery.
What Happens Under Normal Conditions?
The man’s body makes tiny cells called sperm. During sex, ejaculation normally delivers the sperm into the woman’s body.
The male reproductive system makes, stores, and transports sperm. Chemicals in your body called hormones control this. Sperm and male sex hormone (testosterone) are made in the 2 testicles. The testicles are in the scrotum, a sac of skin below the penis. When the sperm leave the testicles, they go into a tube behind each testicle. This tube is called the epididymis.
Just before ejaculation, the sperm go from the epididymis into another set of tubes. These tubes are called the vas deferens. Each vas deferens leads from the epididymis to behind your bladder in the pelvis. There each vas deferens joins the ejaculatory duct from the seminal vesicle. When you ejaculate, the sperm mix with fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicles. This forms semen. Semen then travels through the urethra and out of the penis.
Male fertility depends on your body making normal sperm and delivering them. The sperm go into the female partner’s vagina. The sperm travel through her cervix into her uterus to her fallopian tubes. There, if a sperm and egg meet, fertilization happens.
The system only works when genes, hormone levels and environmental conditions are right.
Other than the inability to conceive within a stated period of time or the inability to deliver a live-born infant, in most cases, infertility has no other outward symptoms.
The evaluation of a man’s fertility includes looking for signs of hormone deficiency, such as increased body fat, decreased muscle mass, and decreased facial and body hair. The evaluation also includes questions about the man’s health history, including past injury to the testicles or penis, recent high fevers, and childhood diseases such as mumps.1 A physical examination allows for the identification of problems such as infection, hernia, or varicocele. A health care provider may also ask a man to provide a semen sample to assess the health and quality of his sperm. Other tests may include measurement of hormones in the blood, a biopsy of the testicle, or genetic screening.2
Treatments for male infertility may be based on the underlying cause of the problem, or in the case of no identified problem, evidence-based treatments that improve fertility may be recommended. Treatments include surgery to correct or repair anatomic abnormalities or damage to reproductive organs, use of medical procedures to deliver sperm to the woman, fertilization of the egg in a laboratory, and using a third party for donating sperm or eggs and/or carrying a pregnancy. Medication can treat some issues that affect male fertility, including hormone imbalances and erectile dysfunction. Surgery can be effective for repairing blockages in the tubes that transport sperm. Surgery can also be used for repair of varicocele.2 Assistive reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, can be effective if other treatments do not restore fertility.
Basic Criteria for using Egg Donors as an option If you’re over 40, have a low ovarian reserve, previously failed response to injections in IVF treatment, donor eggs.
IVF stands for in vitro fertilization. It’s one of the more widely known types of assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF works by using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilize an egg, and help the fertilized egg implant in your uterus.
IUI Procedure is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI technique is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.
Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is very similar to conventional IVF. The difference between the two procedures is the method of achieving fertilisation. ICSI refers to the laboratory procedure where a single sperm is picked up and is injected directly into each egg.
PICSI is a method of selecting the best possible sperm for fertilisation before injection into the egg in the IVF protocol. What PICSI does is select sperm according to how well they bind to the hyaluronan around an egg cell.
Egg donation is the process by which a woman, who is usually younger, provides eggs (ova, oocytes) to another person and/or partner for purposes of assisted reproduction so that the recipient of the eggs can have a baby with a partner or using donor sperm.
A blastocyst transfer is a technique, incorporated with in vitro fertilization (IVF), designed to increase pregnancy rates and decrease the risk of multiple pregnancy. This technology, virtually eliminating the risk of high order multiple pregnancies.