Infertility these days has become a very common issue in almost every household. It can affect both men and women, therefore, the social stigma of blaming only the woman when a married couple is childless should be erased from our minds. There is as much possibility for a man to be infertile as much as it is for a woman. Anyone can be a victim of infertility and to determine the causes there are several tests that are performed both for men and women.
Almost all men are aware that the fertility of women starts to decline after 35 years, yet they are not aware of the fact that even a man’s age can affect their fertility and the capability to be a parent as well. Even though it is less known about the effect of age on male fertility, the evidence of older men losing their fertility is increasing day by day.
The fact is that for a man who is over 45 years old, it may take five or more times longer to conceive as compared to a man under 25 years of age.
There is a significant confirmation that male obesity has negative effects on fertility through changes in hormonal levels and also direct changes to the function of the sperm and the molecular composition of the sperm. Impaired spermatogenesis along with sexual dysfunction have been shown to drive other variables towards poor fertility potential by various research studies. The increase in BMI is directly linked to lowering sperm concentration, serum testosterone, and serum estradiol increase research prove it.
Therefore, men who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk for infertility and thus need constant monitoring as it not only affects fertility but also causes several other complications like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and so on. Overweight and obese men are more likely to have low sperm count, or not have any viable sperm as compared with men who have normal weight.
There are several tests and treatments nowadays even for men to determine fertility and the cause of infertility in men.
To determine male fertility, it involves the production of healthy sperms and its movements towards the egg. The tests performed for male infertility is to determine if any of the processes are damaged.
It is likely that men should undergo a general physical examination that includes the examination of the genitals as well. Precise fertility tests can consist of:
- Analysis of Semen- One or more semen specimens may be asked to be produced. The semen specimen is then analyzed in a lab but sometimes in some rare cases, the sperm can also be tested for in the urine.
- Testing of Hormone- Blood tests are done to establish and verify the level of male hormones such as testosterone.
- Genetic Analysis- Genetic analysis is the testing to find out if there are any genetic issues that are causing infertility.
- Biopsy of the testicles- In some rare cases, a biopsy of the testicles is done to ascertain aberrations impacting infertility and to obtain the sperm to be used during assisted reproductive techniques, such as IVF if required.
- Additional Specialty testing- Sometimes rarely though, some tests may be done to assess the quality of the sperm so as to evaluate the semen specimen for DNA aberrations or abnormalities. Also, imaging studies like brain MRI, scanning of bone mineral density, ultrasound (trans-rectal or scrotal), or tests of the vas deferens could be done.
The treatment for men usually comprises of treatment for common sexual complications or deficiency of healthy sperm. The treatment process can comprise of the following:
- Changing the lifestyle aspects- Cultivating healthier lifestyle habits and behavioral aspects can help in improving the probabilities for pregnancy. Avoiding certain medications and alcohol, maintaining regular exercise are some habits that will help in keeping you healthy.
- Prescriptions- Some medicines may improve sperm count and probability for accomplishing a positive pregnancy. These medications may enhance testicular function along with more sperm production and improving the quality.
- Surgery- Surgery may be able to reverse a sperm blockage and restore fertility in some cases. Also in certain rare cases, improving the overall chances for pregnancy may be done by surgically repairing a varicocele.
- Sperm retrieval- These techniques obtain sperm when ejaculation is a problem or when no sperm are present in the ejaculated fluid. They may also be used in cases where assisted reproductive techniques are planned and sperm counts are low or otherwise abnormal.
Generally, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is taken into consideration only if the other above treatments do not take effect. The ART techniques used more commonly during male infertility issues are IVF and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
At Aspire Fertility Centre, our expert doctors are ever ready to listen to your questions and problems in order to find a solution. So, so call us or visit our clinic and you can also write to us, always welcome to do so.