Even today many people think infertility issues affect only women. But the truth is, 20% of all couples cannot conceive solely due to male infertility and almost 40% of couples find it difficult to conceive because of male fertility obstacles.
Male fertility tests involve urology tests, physical exam, and a semen analysis. All these tests and their reports are kept confidential.
A semen analysis does not only test the sperm count but also the sperm motility and sperm quality. Here are some of the important things a semen analysis reveals:
Azoospermia: Absence of sperm in the semen either due to zero sperm production or due to a hindrance in the pathway of the sperm to the semen channel.
Oligospermia: The sperm count is too low. This reduces the chances of fertilization.
Motility: There may be enough sperms but their movement might be too slow. The sperms need to reach the egg in time to fertilize it.
Morphology: Abnormal shape, size, or composition of the sperm might be the cause of infertility even if sperm count and motility are normal.
When the Test Results are Silent
Sometimes the first semen analysis does not reveal anything out of the ordinary. This is why a second test is conducted. If this too does not reveal a problem, the man is considered to have no physiological fertility issue. If his partner has been confirmed to be fertile according to recent tests, a sexologist or couple’s therapist is recommended to address psychological reasons that might be affecting the performance.
Causes and Treatment
Treatment of infertility determine the treatment mode:
Autoimmune diseases where the immune system attacks healthy sperm cells: Not much can be done.
Thyroid or pituitary hormone imbalances: Hormone therapy.
Erectile dysfunction: Counselling and lifestyle improvements.
Premature ejaculation: Counselling by a sexologist might help.
Drug abuse, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol make a high risk for male infertility. In case of conditions that cannot be reversed, IVF or artificial insemination can help achieve fertilization.