Infertility treatment always concerns a couple. Around 40% of couples that struggle with infertility discover that the problem is partially or completely on the male side. That is why semen analysis (seminogram) is extremely important at the beginning of an infertility diagnosis. In the diagnosis of male infertility, semen analysis is crucial. Sperm count, motility, and morphological structure are examined. For fertilization to occur, the sperm must be able to reach the egg released during ovulation. If the number of sperms or their motility and quality are limited, they may not reach the egg and fail to fertilize.
The most common causes of male infertility:
- hormonal and environmental: dysfunction of the pituitary gland, steroid and thyroid hormones, environmental and behavioral factors (smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs).
- testicular: congenital or acquired testicular disorders, cryptorchidism, inflammations, mechanical trauma, long testicle ischemia, prolonged exposure to chemical substances, high temperatures or other physical factors
- not related to testicles: obstruction of the epididymis, inflammation or underdevelopment, prostate gland and seminal vesicle inflammation, mechanical trauma, urethra inflammation
- sexual disorder: erection and ejaculation problems, structural dysfunctions of penis, retrograde ejaculation.
- systemic diseases: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, neurological or psychiatric conditions, kidney and bladder conditions, viral infections,
Male infertility and trying to conceive - what to do?
Depending on the cause, the physician may recommend pharmacotherapy or surgical treatment. However, in some cases, despite the extended diagnostics, the cause of male infertility (low sperm quality) may remain unknown. In such cases, assisted reproductive technologies like IVF are the only solution.