Reproduction is a simple and natural experience for most couples. However, for some couples it is very difficult to conceive. Male infertility is diagnosed after testing both partners.
Infertility is a widespread problem. For about one in five infertile couples the problem lies solely in the male partner (male infertility).
Signs Or Symptoms Of Male Infertility
- In most cases, there are no obvious signs of an infertility problem. Intercourse, erections and ejaculation will usually happen without difficulty. The quantity and appearance of the ejaculated semen generally appears normal to the naked eye.
- The male reproductive tract is made up of the testes, a system of ducts (tubes) and other glands opening into the ducts.
- The testes are a pair of egg shaped glands that sit in the scrotum next to the base of the penis on the outside of the body.,/
- Each normal testis is 15 to 35ml in volume in adult men. The testes are needed for the male reproductive system to function normally. The testes have two related but separate roles:
Production of sperm
Production of the male sex hormone, testosterone
Causes Male Infertility
- Male infertility can be caused by problems that affect sperm production or the sperm transport process. With the results of medical tests, the doctor may be able to find a cause of the problem.
- Sperm production problems: The most common cause of male infertility is due to a problem in the sperm production process in the testes. Low numbers of sperm are made and/or the sperm that are made do not work properly. About two thirds of infertile men have sperm production problems.
- Blockage of sperm transport: Blockages (often referred to as obstructions) in the tubes leading sperm away from the testes to the penis can cause a complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen.
- This is the second most common cause of male infertility and affects about one in every five infertile men, including men who have had a vasectomy but now wish to have more children.
- Sperm antibodies: In some men, substances in the semen and/or blood called sperm antibodies can develop which can reduce sperm movement and block egg binding (where the sperm attaches to the egg) as is needed for fertilization.
- About one in every 16 infertile men has sperm antibodies.
- Sexual problems: Difficulties with sexual intercourse, such as erection or ejaculation problems, can also stop couples from becoming pregnant. Sexual problems are not a common cause of infertility.
- Hormonal problems: Sometimes the pituitary gland does not send the right hormonal messages to the testes. This can cause both low testosterone levels and a failure of the testes to produce sperm.
- Hormonal causes are uncommon, and affect less than one in 100 infertile men. Unfortunately, medical scientists do not yet understand all the details of sperm production and the fertilization process. As a result, for many men with a sperm production problem, the cause cannot be identified.
Known Causes Of Male Infertility
- Sperm production problems
- Chromosomal or genetic causes
- Undescended testes (failure ofthe testes to descend at birth)
- Torsion (twisting of the testis in scrotum)
- Varicocele (varicose veins of the testes)
- Medicines and chemicals
- Radiation damage
- Unknown cause
- Blockage of sperm transport
- Prostate related problems
- Absence of vas deferens
- Sperm antibodies
- Injury or infection in the epididymis
- Unknown cause
- Sexual problems(erection and ejaculation problems)
- Retrograde and premature ejaculation
- Failure of ejaculation
- Infrequent intercourse
- Spinal cord injury
- Prostate surgery
- Damage to nerves
- Some medicines
- Hormonal Problems
- Pituitary tumours
- Congenital lack of LH/FSH
- Pituitary Problem From Birth
- Anabolic (androgenic) steroid abuse