Male Infertility Treatments: Symptoms, Causes and Tests

Male Infertility Treatments

Infertility in a man or a woman is a health issue that decreases the chances of a woman getting pregnant. Almost 13 out of every 100 couples struggle to get pregnant even after having unprotected sex consistently. During diagnosis, doctors discover that in nearly one-third of the cases, the problem lies with the man – be it related to sperm delivery or sperm production. This proves that infertility is a matter of concern for both genders and so, in this article we will tell you all about male infertility treatments so that you can soon welcome your little one home.

Cause of Male Infertility

Before knowing about male infertility treatments, you should understand what is the cause of infertility. Many environmental and biological factors can cause infertility in men and the common ones are listed below:

  • Medical conditions like autoimmune disease or diabetes can deteriorate sperm health
  • Varicoceles or swollen veins in an individual’s testicles
  • Cancer treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Orchiectomy (removal of the testicles through operation)
  • Sperm problems like malformed sperm, oligospermia (low sperm count), and azoospermia (no semen in the sperm)
  • Myotonic dystrophy, Klinefelter syndrome, or other genetic disorders
  • Infections such as orchitis and epididymitis
  • Testicular trauma
  • Sexually transmitted infections like HIV, gonorrhea, etc.
  • Hormonal disorders affecting pituitary glands or hypothalamus

Symptoms of Male Infertility

The inability to have an erection is known as impotence and this is one of the biggest signs of infertility in men. If a couple enjoys having sex regularly and yet the pregnancy test results are negative, one or both could be infertile. Another sign of male infertility is retrograde ejaculation or dry orgasm, which means the semen does not enter the female body. If male infertility is because of chromosomal or genetic disorders, there may not be any symptoms and only a male infertility test can reveal the truth.

While all these are the obvious signs of infertility, infertility also leads to emotional and psychological side effects like feeling depressed or stressed. If you or your spouse experiences these negative feelings, you must not delay talking to a psychiatrist or therapist.

Diagnosis of Male Infertility

Different infertile couples have diverse infertility issues. So, doctors may perform multiple tests to detect the issue accurately and give proper reproductive medicine or begin azoospermia treatment. Diagnosis of male infertility issues usually involves:

1.      Physical examination

On the first day, the doctor will examine your genitals and ask about chronic ailments, surgeries, injuries, or inherited conditions that could have affected your fertility. Your doctor would also like to know about your sexual practices as well as sexual development at the time of puberty.

2.      Semen analysis

Obtaining semen samples can be done in various ways. You can masturbate and ejaculate into a container. There are alternate methods like using a special kind of condom while having intercourse.

3.      Hormone testing

Hormones that the pituitary glands, testicles, and hypothalamus produce play a major role in a person’s sexual development and also sperm production. If there are abnormalities in organ systems, you may have to deal with infertility. A blood test will measure if the levels of testosterone and other hormones are adequate.

4.      Scrotal ultrasound

Sound waves of high frequency are used during this test to generate images inside the patient’s body. By performing a scrotal ultrasound, your doctor will be able to see if your testicles and its supportive structures are fine.

5.      Transrectal ultrasound

This diagnosis method involves inserting a narrow, lubricated wand into the rectum. With the help of the wand, the doctor checks the prostate and searches for blockages of tubes responsible for carrying semen.

6.      Testicular biopsy

Testicular biopsy means collecting samples from a man’s testicles by inserting a needle. The results will show if there is an issue with sperm production or something else.

7.      Post-ejaculation urinalysis

Sperm present in the urine can be an indication that your sperm travels backward into the urinary bladder. This phenomenon is called retrograde ejaculation and post-ejaculatory urinalysis can detect the condition.

8.      Sperm function tests

A range of tests can be done to understand how long a man’s sperm can survive after ejaculation. Other factors that doctors consider are: How well the sperm can penetrate the egg? Does it have issues attaching itself to the egg?

9.      Genetic tests

Extremely low sperm concentration can be due to genetic reasons. A blood test can prove if there are some changes in the person’s Y chromosomes (which is a sign of genetic abnormality). Various inherited and congenital syndromes can also be detected through genetic testing.

Treatment for Male Infertility

Looking for a male fertility center near me? Have a look at these treatment options before visiting a fertility clinic for men:

1.      Assisted reproductive technology

When it comes to treating infertility in men, assisted reproductive technology has already proved its excellence. During ART treatments, the sperm will be obtained via surgical extraction, normal ejaculation, or from a donor individual. After that, they will remove an egg from the ovary of your partner and combine it with the sperm in a laboratory.

The sperm is inserted into the genital tract of the woman, or it is used to perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection or in vitro fertilization. When a healthcare provider injects a sperm cell into the egg physically, it is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The alternative of it is IVF for male fertility. In vitro fertilization involves injecting the female with medications that can turn multiple eggs mature at the same time. When the eggs are completely mature, the doctor will collect them and allow the sperm to fertilize them in the lab. The moment an egg is fertilized, the doctor will place the embryo (fertilized egg) back into the uterus.

2.      Surgery

In some cases, surgical intervention can get rid of male infertility and the top surgical procedures include:

  • Vasectomy reversal: A person who has undergone vasectomy cannot impregnate their partner. So, if you regret your decision of opting for vasectomy, you may consider vasectomy reversal which means reconnecting the vas deferens so that pregnancy can be possible once again.
  • Sperm retrieval: This process involves performing a biopsy after retrieving sperm from the epididymis or testicles.
  • Vasoepididymostomy: Some men have a blockage in their epididymis which is the coiled tube lying against the testicle responsible for maturing sperm. As this blockage does not let sperm enter the person’s semen, surgery will remove the blockage.
  • Varicocelectomy: If there is pooling of blood in a person’s testicles because of varicose veins present in the scrotum, this condition is called varicocelectomy. It can adversely impact sperm quality and so, removing varicose veins will be wise to increase the chances of conception.

3.      Hormone therapy

Many men have noticed great results after saying yes to hormone therapy. As both low and high levels of hormones can affect fertility, hormone therapy can balance the hormone levels to assist the body in producing quality sperm. You should also stop using medicines such as:

  • Anti-androgens
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

4.      Treating sexual intercourse issues

Medication and education can improve fertility conditions in both men and women. Many couples don’t realize that having coitus is not enough to conceive. Sexual intercourse needs to be performed during ovulation to get the desired outcome. Additionally, if your premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction is the reason why your partner can’t get pregnant, medicines and practice can make these problems disappear.

Lifestyle Changes to Make Male Infertility Treatment Successful

Depending on the cause behind your infertility, it is possible to produce healthy sperm by making the following lifestyle alterations:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables as they are incredible sources of vitamins and minerals.
  • Stay away from unhealthy and junk foods as they affect sperm count in men.
  • Engage in physical activities like walking, jogging, bicycling, dancing, or lifting weights.
  • Practice meditation and other self-relaxation techniques to keep stress at bay.
  • Sleep well at night as your body also needs sufficient rest to produce high-quality sperm.
  • Quit drinking, smoking, and using nonprescription/recreational drugs.
  • Avoid using sexual lubricants while having sexual intercourse.

Parting Thoughts

We may conclude by saying that having infertility does not mean one can never become a biological father. There are many treatment options to help you fulfill your dream of holding your baby in your arms.

All you have to do is book an appointment with an esteemed fertility specialist to receive quality treatment. Just type ‘male fertility doctor near me’ or ‘male fertility clinic near me’ on Google to find the best fertility clinics in your locality.