Inability to conceive is not always a problem with the female. Males can also be responsible for fertility problems in couples. When couples consult a doctor regarding this both the partners should undergo tests to know the cause of this problem.
Causes of infertility issues in males
- Semen – semen is a milky fluid released from a man’s penis during orgasm. It contains fluid and sperm. The fluid helps in transportation of sperm during ejaculation. Abnormality in the semen accounts for a majority of male infertility cases.
- Low sperm count
- No sperms
- Low sperm mobility- the sperms are unable to ‘swim’.
- Abnormal sperm- sometimes the shape of the sperm is abnormal making it difficult for it to fertilize the egg.
- Semen can also be abnormal due to testicular infection, testicular cancer.
- Tight clothing can also affect sperm count. Working in extremely hot conditions can cause overheating of the testicles which decreases the sperm count.
- Problems in ejaculation– blockage or obstruction in the ejaculatory ducts can cause inappropriate ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation can also be a problem where men ejaculate into the bladder.
- Varicocele– varicose veins in the scrotum that causes the sperm to heat.
- Undescended testicle- during fetal development the testicles fail to descend down into the scrotum. Sperms, to remain healthy, need a slight lower temperature than body temperature. Hence failure to descend affects the sperm production.
- Genetic abnormality- males have chromosomes X and Y. Presence of two X chromosomes leads to abnormal development of the testicles which in turn leads to low testosterone and low sperm count.
- Cystic fibrosis- it is a disease affecting the liver, lungs, pancreas and intestines. Males having cystic fibrosis generally have a missing or obstructed vas deferens.
Tests for diagnosing infertility
Semen analysis- analyzed for sperm concentration, color, motility and presence of any infection.
Blood test- level of testosterone and other male hormones is checked.
Ultrasound test– to detect any obstruction or retrograde ejaculation.
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