Before any course of fertility treatment can begin, our doctors will perform a comprehensive semen analysis at our San Antonio office to determine the male partner’s ability to father a child. Of the couples who are unable to conceive without reproductive assistance, male infertility factors in more than one-third of cases. By gauging the potency of the sperm, we can determine if your therapy should focus on improving male fertility. If you and your partner have struggled to conceive, and you would like to learn why, contact us today to speak with our specialists about semen analysis and male infertility treatment.
Causes of Male Infertility
Male infertility is caused by a number of different factors, from ineffective sperm to hormone imbalances and problems with ejaculation. Most often, infertility is the result of low sperm count, which can be caused by numerous factors, such as:
- Infections of the urinary tract or reproductive organs, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and inflamed prostates
- Certain medications
- Sperm antibodies (immune system cells that mistakenly attack and try to destroy sperm)
- Hormone imbalances
- Tumors (cancerous and nonmalignant) that release hormones related to reproduction
- Chromosome defects
The first step towards understanding which factors are affecting your fertility lies in performing a semen analysis.
Analyzing Semen Volume and Potency
Analyzing semen for its potency involves testing it for a number of different factors, including:
- Volume: how much semen is present in a single ejaculation
- Sperm count: the number of sperm present per milliliter (mL) of semen in a single ejaculation
- Morphology: the percentage of sperm that are normally shaped
- Motility: the percentage of sperm that can move forward normally
- Fructose level: the amount of sugar present, which provides energy for sperm.
For optimal results, your sperm count should be at its highest during your semen analysis. Testing too soon or too long after your last ejaculation can lead to inaccurate readings. You should refrain from sexual activity for about two to five days before your analysis, but for no longer than one or two weeks, if possible.
Treating Male Infertility
Effective treatment for male infertility depends on the nature of the health issue. Hormone treatments are a common solution, but if infertility is caused by something other than a hormone imbalance, then you may require medication or surgery.
If treatment fails, then donor sperm may be used to fertilize the egg. Two of the most common treatments used to unite healthy sperm with a healthy egg include intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). IUI involves placing healthy sperm directly into the uterus, closer to the egg. IVF involves fertilizing the egg with healthy sperm outside of the mother’s body, and then planting the fertilized egg (embryo) into the uterus.
Schedule Your Visit
If you are having trouble conceiving, let the experts at the Fertility Center of San Antonio help you realize your dream. To learn about our technologically advanced methods and procedures, and how they can help you build your family, schedule a consultation by contacting our center today.