Male infertility is now almost as common as female infertility. Over the last decade there has been an increase in the male fertility cases world-wide and we have seen that at our center too, at Pearl Women’s Hospital and Yash IVF.
All around the world 15% of couples face infertility issues & 30% of the infertility is due to male factors. Women’s reproductive health is often discussed but when it comes to male factor, the silence is a routine. Macho image of a man along with social norms which make it impossible to express.
Men are considered to be the stronger sex. Fact is, they too often are susceptible to family responsibilities & work priorities. This often results in neglecting their health.
Let’s begin the batlle to overcome male infertility with the right information.
Male infertility has practically no symptoms, except perhaps, impotency. If he is unable to perform then obviously the chances of achieving a pregnancy are dim.
Causes of male infertility:
– Inadequate sperm: If the man is unable to produce sufficient healthy and viable sperm, it’s nearly impossible to conceive.
– Poor motility: The sperm are simply unable to swim towards the ovum to fertilise it
– Structural issues with the sperm.
While it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, it’s a long and arduous journey. Sperm can live up to 4-5 days inside a woman’s body. The more the sperm, the better are the chances of fertilization and conception.
WHAT CAUSES A LOW SPERM COUNT?
Men produce sperms every day and it takes almost 2 months for maturation. During the process of ejaculation, a healthy male releases 15 million to 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen approximately.
When men are diagnosed with a low sperm count the condition is called oligospermia. In oligospermia, there are less than 15 million sperm/ml. There is another condition called azoospermia that is total absence of sperms. Low sperm means , you are still producing sperms but in lesser quantity.
Many factors can affect sperm production. Smoking, alcohol use, medications, stress, toxins, exposure to harmful rays decrease the number of sperms. In addition to medication and lifestyle factors, there are few medical causes for male factor infertility.
A low sperm count definitely means, chances of sperms fertilizing the eggs are less but it doesn’t mean, you will not father a child. To conceive a baby, there are many medical treatments available for low sperm count.
What are the causes of a low sperm count?
A man may have inherited faulty DNA or suffer from a hormone imbalance, a blockage or dilation issue.
Does male infertility have any obvious symptoms?
The inability to conceive may be the main sign that there could be a problem. There may be no other obvious signs or symptoms.
In some cases, however, following signs may be a giveaway:
Pain & swelling of the testicles
A lump in the testicles.
A decrease in facial or body hair
Low sex drive
If you are having any of the above symptoms, or if you’ve been actively trying to conceive without success schedule a doctor visit and get tested at the earliest.
TREATMENT FOR LOW SPERM COUNT:
Hormonal Treatment: In some patients, low levels of the pituitary hormones which are responsible for sperm production cause a low sperm count. Some injectable hormones preparation may definitely increase sperm count to the extent that conception occurs naturally.
Antibiotics: In a small number of cases an infection interferes with sperm production and causes inflammation. If there is no permanent damage, then the antibiotic treatment can help. If scarring and damage is seen along with infection, the doctor may retrieve the sperm surgically.
Surgical Treatment: If the cause of your low sperm count is a blockage, doctor will surgically remove the blockage. These surgical procedures involve insertion of threadlike, small delicate needle directly into testicle (under anesthesia!) and obtaining sperm for IVF with ICSI.
IVF with ICSI: IVF with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI is the most successful treatments for low sperm count.
If you and your partner are eagerly trying to expand a family , it’s time to find out successful ways to achieve the family goal. Contact Yash IVF for more information on male factor infertility and the treatments that can help.
Certain tips to improve sperm health can definitely help.
Consume colorful foods rich in antioxidants like green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, almonds, bananas, berries, tomatoes walnuts
• Avoid processed foods as it lowers sperm count
• Avoid food rich in high fat or dairy products, it affects motility
• Avoid excessive soy intake; it decreases sperm concentration
• Avoid fried food; it decreases sperm motility
• Exercise regularly for 30 minutes
• Limit alcohol intake/smoking
• Avoid prolonged sedentary working hours
• Avoid excessive use of laptops on lap, as the heat generated from the laptop impairs sperm production and hence contributes to infertility
Nevertheless, visiting a qualified doctor well in time and getting the right treatment is the key to parenthood.