The lesser known fact about infertility is that it can affect both men and women equally and the reproductive health of men plays an equally vital role in the ability of couples to conceive.
Male infertility occurs when your body cannot produce and deliver the sperms successfully thereby leading to unsuccessful pregnancies.
Though we often consider infertility as a female issue, it truly takes two to tango when it comes to infertility challenges. It is on the rise these days and continues to be an issue for so many people.
Let’s have a closer look at how common is male infertility and its possible treatment:
According to the recent reports by World Health Organization [ WHO], in India, of all infertility cases, approximately 50% occur due to male factors.
A study on infertility issues was conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi. The study has reported that over 12–18 million couples in India are diagnosed with infertility every year. Further, the findings of the study showed that three decades earlier, the average sperm count of a normal Indian adult male used to be 60 million/ml. However, it now stands at around 20 million/ml.
A further study conducted by NCBI showed the primary prevalence of male infertility in various Indian states. The estimates of infertility vary widely among these states. The study reflected the infertility data of the following cities:
3.7% in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh
5% in Andhra Pradesh
15% in Kashmir
3.7% in Maharashtra
The study further, reflected that 40% of the infertility issues are related to men, 40% women and 20% of both the sexes.
These studies indicate the rising number of male infertility issues.
In today’s world, male infertility is more prevalent due to various factors.
Male Infertility can occur due to various reasons including:
Low sperm production
Abnormal sperm function
Chronic health conditions
Unhealthy lifestyle choices
Treatment of male infertility generally :
depends on the underlying causes and requires an accurate diagnosis:
Possible treatment of male infertility :
Diagnosis usually begins with a complete physical examination to identify any physical problem that may impact your fertility. Your IVF specialist can also look at your medical history. However, if physical examination and history don’t reflect the reason to conceive, your IVF specialist may suggest certain tests.
It is a routine lab test that helps show the level of sperm production and whether sperms are functioning well.
This ultrasound uses sound waves to get a picture of the organ. It shows if the ejaculatory duct or seminal vesicles are blocked or not.
If a semen test shows a very low number of sperms, you may need a testicular biopsy. It helps find the cause of infertility, if any, or helps to collect sperm for use in assisted reproductive techniques.
Your IVF specialist may also check your hormone levels. This is to check how well your testicles make sperm. Moreover, this test is also helpful in ruling out major health problems.
Based on the results of these infertility tests, a treatment plan for male infertility can be suggested for you:
Medications can treat some male infertility issues, including hormone imbalance and erectile dysfunction. Certain medications can also improve sperm count in men and are good to use for men with low testosterone levels.
In certain cases, surgery can be the right option to treat male infertility. Surgery can be effective for repairing blockages in the tubes that transport sperm.
Assisted reproductive techniques :
At least 10 percent of infertility problems occur due to unknown causes, and another 30 percent are due to issues in both the male and female partners. Therefore, assisted reproductive techniques are suitable to treat the unidentifiable and less-known causes of male infertility.
The most popular ART treatments available are: :
IUI procedure :
Intrauterine Insemination or IUI is an excellent option for couples facing mild to moderate infertility issues. For example, IUI for male infertility is a simple procedure that involves placing the sperms directly inside a woman’s uterus.
To perform an IUI, the male partner should provide a semen sample by ejaculating it into a sterile container. Once the laboratory team receives the sample, they will prepare it. This involves separating the active sperms from the seminal fluid. Then the sperms are injected directly into the uterus so that she can conceive.
In Vitro Fertilization [ IVF] is an assisted reproductive technique in which the sperms are used to fertilize an egg outside the body.
Sometimes, IVF is the best option in case of male infertility. If a semen analysis reveals a very low concentration of sperms, IVF treatment can be recommended. It is also a good option in case of poor semen quality, unexplained or prolonged infertility.
During IVF, eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with sperms to form an embryo. This embryo can be frozen and then transferred to a woman’s uterus.
However, the success of this procedure can vary from couple to couple. In addition, the success of this procedure can depend on your age, type of infertility issue, or duration of infertility.
ICSI Treatment :
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection [ ICSI] is an effective method for male infertility. This treatment is usually recommended in case of low sperm count or poor sperm motility.
This procedure involves the injection of a single sperm directly into a mature egg. First, the sperm samples are collected from the male. After that, an embryologist will inject the sperm using a microscope and a tiny needle in the retrieved eggs. After that, both the eggs and sperm are combined for fertilization.
Donor Program :
Donor programs can be best suitable for couples where the male partner has no sperm or has poor sperm quality. There can be two kinds of donor programs, namely, egg donation and sperm donation.
Donor sperm can be used with IVF or IUI. The fertility medications can be provided to prepare for egg retrieval. Once retrieved, the eggs will be combined with donor sperm and then transferred back to the uterus.
Vardaan Medical Center: Best IVF Center in Punjab:
Vardaan Medical Center offers top-quality treatment for all infertility-related issues. Our experienced and well-qualified IVF specialists work with complete dedication and care.
Contact the best IVF center in Punjab and start a blissful journey towards parenthood
Frequently Asked Question:
Can cigarettes affect sperm quality?
Yes, cigarettes can affect sperm quality. The chemicals in the cigarette can cause sperm cells to be smaller and lower. As a result, it can harm their DNA. Moreover, smoking can also affect the seminal fluid ejaculated with sperm.
How long can sperm samples be secured for fertility treatment?
Sperms can be secured in a frozen state for many years. These stored sperms can be used by your IVF specialists as and when necessary.
What is an ideal range of sperm count in a person?
The ideal sperm range for a normal person spans from 15 million to 100 million. A sperm count below 10 million is considered poor. However, a sperm count of 15 million or more can be regarded as normal.