Oct 22

How to Overcome Male Fertility Problems

Male Fertility Problems - San Antonio, TX

Posted on October 22, 2015 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

Sperm trying to penetrate egg, blue white and redIf you’re having trouble getting pregnant, both the male and female partners should undergo a fertility evaluation. Though a woman carries a fetus, both male and female partners can have fertility issues. Research tells us that in about a third of couples that have trouble getting pregnant, the issues are in full or partly due to male infertility. In one-fifth of infertile couples, the problem is in the male partner’s reproductive system. Call us today to schedule your consultation and evaluation, and we’ll find out why you’re having difficulty becoming pregnant. To learn more about male fertility problems, contact our San Antonio, TX practice today.

Fertility Evaluation Services for Men

When assessing male fertility, many questions need to be answered. Prepare to provide your medical history, information about past pregnancies to which you contributed, and a list of surgeries and current medications. You will also be asked about exercise, alcohol use, tobacco use, drug use, and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, a full physical examination will be required, perhaps by a urologist.

Hormone Testing

Hormones are rarely the cause of infertility, but testosterone does control sperm production. Low testosterone can contribute to an inability for the female partner to become pregnant. Other infertility problems caused by hormones include pituitary tumors or steroid abuse. However, if we can harvest some healthy sperm, the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure can be performed. IVF helps couples that have infertility issues become pregnant with their own sperm and egg, instead of relying on a donor.

Semen Analysis

Your semen sample will reveal whether your sperm count, shape, movement, and overall quality is conducive to fertilization. Many conditions can have a negative effect on semen. Genetic or chromosomal issues, undescended testes, twisting of the testis, infections, medications, chemicals, and radiation are a few issues that contribute to sperm abnormalities.

Keep in mind, just because your sperm may not be ideal does not mean that you’re infertile. In about a quarter of all cases, we find no cause for low sperm count or abnormal sperm, yet the issue exists. We call this condition idiopathic infertility. The good news is, if any healthy sperm can be acquired, IVF may be a viable option for contributing to pregnancy.

Obstruction of Transport

Should no sperm be present in your semen, you may have an obstruction that needs to be addressed. Infections, prostate problems, and vasectomy may be the cause of the obstruction. Many cases of male infertility are caused by varicoceles, which are abnormal vein formations above the testicle(s). A simple surgery corrects the issue.

In some cases, the vas deferens, the tube that transports sperm, is missing. After pinpointing the cause of your obstruction, treatment can be advised.

Anti-Sperm Antibodies

Some men produce antibiodies that attack and kill sperm as they travel. Because corticosteroid therapy trials produced poor pregnancy rate results, the best way for a man with significant levels of anti-sperm antibodies to contribute to pregnancy is through IVF.

Sexual Dysfunction

The inability to acquire and sustain an erection or ejaculate normally can be caused by a number of issues, including medications. Erectile dysfunction may be caused by high blood pressure, blood vessel diseases, past surgeries, nerve injury or disease, hormone issues, depression, or diabetes.

Learn More about Becoming Pregnant

Infertility is not always an issue of male or female health; sometimes it’s a matter of timing. Pregnancy occurs only when a couple has sex at the right time. However, stress about not getting pregnant will only intensify the problem. If you and your partner are having difficulty becoming pregnant, contact us for an evaluation. We’ll find out if your timing is off, or if there is a physical condition in either partner that should be medically addressed.

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