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Male infertility

When a couple is unable to conceive then male infertility may need to be investigated as a possible cause. This is a problem when a male is unable to make a fertile female conceive a child even though they have had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. Up to 15 percent of couples are infertile and in over a third of these couples, male infertility plays a role.

Possible Causes: 

The possible causes of male infertility can be:

  • Sperm disorders - Problems making healthy sperm are the most common causes of male infertility. Sperm may not be adequate, may be immature, abnormally shaped or unable to swim. It can be caused by different conditions like:
  • Infections or inflammatory conditions.
  • Hormonal or pituitary gland problems.
  • Immunity problems which make antibodies against your own sperm.
  • Environmental and lifestyle factors like heavy use of tobacco, alcohol or steroids.
  • Genetic diseases.
  • Structural problems - Blockages in the genital tract that stop the flow of semen. This could be a genetic defect, an infection or an inflammation from a sexually transmitted disease or scar tissue from a surgery or twisted, swollen veins in the scrotum.
  • Other factors - Erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, liver or kidney disease, side effects of treatment for other medical conditions are examples of problems that can cause infertility.

Risk Factors: 

Factors that increase the risk of male infertility are:

  • Past inflammation of the prostate or paste genital infections.
  • Injury or twisting of the testicles.
  • Early or late puberty.
  • Exposure of the genitals to high temperature.
  • Hernia repair.
  • Undescended testicles.
  • If you have certain prescription medicines that may cause male infertility as a side effect.

Signs & Symptoms: 

If your female partner has not been able to conceive and become pregnant after you have tried for one year with regular sex without any birth control you may have male infertility.

Psychological and emotional issues like feelings of depression, loss, grief, inadequacy and failure can also have a part in male infertility.


Diagnosis: 

At Medcare, specialists will review and investigate your health history as well as conduct a physical exam and possible tests to diagnose male infertility like:

  • Sperm count (semen analysis): Semen samples are taken to check the semen and sperm for things like sperm count, uniformity, acidity, volume and quantity, shape and how well they move.
  • Blood tests: To check hormone level and rule other problems out.
  • Testicular biopsy: If the semen analysis shows that you have only a few or no sperm, a small piece of tissue (biopsy) from each testicle will be investigated under a microscope.

Treatment Options: 

At Medcare, depending on the cause of your male infertility, the different treatment options suggested could be:

Fertility help, which involves helping your partner get pregnant through:

  • Artificial insemination: A method where many healthy sperm are put at the entrance of the cervix or inside the partners uterus, which then make their way to the fallopian tubes.
  • IVF, GIFT, and other techniques: In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and gamete intra fallopian transfer (GIFT) are techniques where your sperm is collected and mixed with your partner’s eggs with more high-quality sperm. They mix the eggs and sperm in a lab or in your partners fallopian tube.
  • ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a treatment where specialists inject a single sperm into an egg. Fertilisation then takes place under a microscope and then the fertilised egg is put into your partner's uterus.

Medicine - Hormone treatment and medicines can help if you have a hormonal disorder or imbalance which is affecting sperm development and causing infertility.

Surgery to fix problems that stop sperm from being made, matured or ejaculated can be suggested to remove twisted, swollen veins in the scrotum and can help improve sperm quality.

FAQs:الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • Can cigarette smoke affect semen?

    A: Yes, regular smoking does impact the sperm in different ways.  It decreases the size and movement of these cells and damages their DNA content. Smoking also impacts the seminal fluid, ejaculated with the sperm.

  • Can the use of steroids cause infertility?

    A: Yes, steroids taken orally or injected can shut down the production of hormones needed for sperm production.

  • Does abnormal semen or sperm lead to children with birth defects?

    A: Not necessarily, for the majority of cases seeking fertility treatment, the risk of conceiving a child with a birth defect is the same as the general population. Some disorders, especially genetic disorders that cause infertility may cause an increased risk of conceiving a child with birth defects.