For people who are unfamiliar with infertility, the assumption is made that the cause is due to female factor infertility perhaps because of the association of women with pregnancy. However, three times out of ten, infertility can be attributed to causes affecting the male patient. For couples starting out on their fertility journey, it is recommended that the male partner undergo fertility tests first, to rule out male factors. Here, the Procrea Fertility experts provide an overview of what you need to know about male factor infertility.
What Causes Male Infertility?
In some cases, male infertility is a result of low sperm production, low sperm motility (failure of the sperm to move correctly), abnormal sperm function or even issues with the male anatomy such as blockages that prevent sperm delivery. Additional causes may include certain illnesses, chronic health problems, obesity or certain lifestyle choices such as the use of illicit drugs.
How is Male Infertility Diagnosed?
An initial evaluation will be conducted and will include a detailed history of the male partner. During this overview, you will want to disclose current and childhood medical conditions and past infertility. It’s also very important for your fertility doctor to be aware of environmental factors that may contribute to male infertility such as exposure to heat or chemicals as well as the use of certain drugs. A semen evaluation will be performed in order to test the amount of semen created, the number of sperm per milliliter of volume, percentage of live sperm and the shape of the sperm.
What if the Male Partner has Been Fertile in the Past?
A past history of male fertility is not a definitive indicator of current male fertility health. Past history of fertility should not exclude a male fertility evaluation when a couple is experiencing trouble conceiving.
Are There Other Factors Besides Semen and Sperm to Consider?
Yes. While many times the cause of male infertility originates from a problem with the testes not producing the right levels of testosterone or enough sperm, there can be a secondary cause due to a hormonal issue with the thyroid or pituitary gland. Additionally, in some cases, there can be anatomical problems such as obstructions of the sperm collecting systems.
Can Male Infertility be Treated?
Yes, in many cases of male infertility, treatment can help couples conceive. For example, during IVF at our center, infertile males may choose Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), a procedure performed when sperm can’t penetrate the egg. This Procrea Fertility treatment offers great success for couples where the man is deemed infertile.
Regardless of the cause, we understand infertility can be a challenging journey. It is our goal, as Canada’s largest group of IVF centers to provide cutting-edge care in a warm and compassionate environment. Contact Procrea today to learn more about male infertility, and to get started on your path towards parenthood with our team of fertility experts.