Causes of male infertility and male infertility tests

Even though “infertility” used to be more of a stigma and was associated mainly with women, in actuality in nearly 40% of the cases of infertility, the problem is actually in the man.

When the couple is having troubles conceiving, it is recommended that both partners get tested for possible health causes or other causes withholding them from the ability to successfully conceive a child.

Although many men are embarrassed and nervous to seek medical advice, it makes common sense that any problems causing the infertility are overruled, and that if there are problems, further steps to resolve them are taken as soon as possible.

An early diagnosis of a cause of infertility in men can save the couple a lot of disappointments, expenses and stress related to unsuccessful conception.

So, what should a man expect when he goes to the doctor to get tested for possible causes of infertility or other problems causing the inability to successfully fertilize the egg of his partner?

At an initial visit to the doctor’s office, namely an urologist, the man will be asked to answer some queries in regard to his past, including his medical history, previous reproductive problems, some underlying health conditions and passed treatments which may affect the ability to produce healthy and sufficient sperm, which can reach the egg during ovulation.

The doctor will also make enquiries about the lifestyle of the man – how active he is, the level or lack of exercise he engages in, as well drinking, smoking and other habits, which can affect fertility.

The urologist will probably do a general physical examination, and could ask you some questions about your sexual habits, history as well as possible sexually transmitted diseases you may have contracted in the past.

Typically, you will be asked for a sperm sample during your first visit to the urologist, so that analysis of your sperm quality, quantity and health can be done as soon as possible.

The analysis of the sperm is done by experts and includes: assessing the sperm count, the movement of the sperm, the sperm shape, as well as other factors which may affect male fertility. The sperm analysis may or may not give a quick answer to a probable problem the man is having. In some cases, you may be asked to give another sample of your semen for a second test. It is a rule of thumb that if two tests show no evident problems with the sperm, then the man is not infertile, but of course there are exceptions to the rule.

In some cases, when the sperm analysis shows that there is no sperm present, the man can be diagnosed with azoospermia, which often is caused by a simple blockage in the reproductive system, and can be successfully treated through surgery.

The physical exam of the urologist can include the examination and measurement of the testicles, which can lead to a diagnosis of varicocele or certain problems with testosterone and other hormone production. Varicocele is arguably the most common problem for male fertility, but can be treated with surgery to mend the abnormal veins in the genital area.

Only in 3% of the men with fertility issues though is the testosterone or other hormone production the actual problem causing the infertility. Anyway, some hormone level tests can be prescribed, in order to clarify that too. These are done through blood tests.

Another possible test you may be asked to undergo when testing your fertility is genetic testing. Sometimes, the man may have issues with producing antibodies in their own body, which prevent the perfectly healthy sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg.

The main reason for male infertility is the lack of sufficient healthy sperm to fertilize the egg. This can be a genetic problem (some men are born with a missing sperm pipeline), or it may be caused by previous treatments or injuries: retrograde ejaculation where sperm is ejaculated in rather than out, or sperm pipeline obstruction which prevents the sperm to be ejaculated normally. The other cause could be the antibodies attacking the sperm.

Unfortunately, one quarter of the men found to have low sperm count or abnormal sperm remain undiagnosed, because of the lack of a specific cause for this. In this case, the man is diagnosed as “idiopathic” infertility.

Many of the times in which a couple is facing problems conceiving a child, the cause is non-medical, and can include other factors, such as: stress, being overweight or obese, lack of exercise, trying to conceive in the wrong times of the month, or even because of too much trying.

When a couple is planning to have a baby, some lifestyle changes are recommended for both partners in order to increase the fertility of both. Firstly, smoking has to be eliminated. Smoking is probably the number one non-medical cause for fertility problems for men and women. Also, alcohol consumption must be lowered to a minimum as well.

If one or both of the partners is overweight, then losing that extra weight or at least 10% of it is recommended. It is a fact that when men who are obese lose 10% of their weight, they become much more fertile.

Doing some exercise and being more active is another tip for future parents. Exercise will reduce stress and will balance the hormones, which are crucial for the proper functioning of the reproductive system.

Choosing to eat healthier foods is also a useful tip. Skipping the fast food and eating healthy balanced meals will keep blood sugar levels normal and will let the body’s metabolism work properly.

There are certain prescription medications, which may interfere with fertility, so you should probably talk to your doctor about them too.

Probably, the only supplements which are recommended to boost fertility naturally are the over the counter all-natural herbal products, such as: Conceive for Him and XtraCum, which are especially designed to increase fertility, sexual performance and stamina and increase the possibility of natural conception for healthy men and women.

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