Male infertility is a growing problem. It is referred to as a situation wherein a man can not get his female partner pregnant naturally. While conceiving a baby is generally an uncomplicated process, men with infertility find it challenging to conceive. Contrary to the common perception, male partners can be the reason behind a couple’s inability to conceive, even if the female partner is in her best health. Male infertility has several causes, ranging from genetic reasons to poor lifestyle habits. However, what’s great is that infertility treatment options are just as wide and give patients a chance to reverse the condition.
When an individual decides to get infertility treatment, he must undergo a comprehensive diagnosis. Now, the types of tests suggested by the fertility specialist can vary based on the doctor’s findings of the physical examination. Generally, the following tests are prescribed before male infertility treatment:
A semen analysis test is a routine test for male infertility, which helps identify the condition’s exact cause. It involves a semen collection process in which a man has to provide his semen sample in a sterile cup (universal container) for further evaluation. The next step involves studying the sperm count, concentration and movement of the sperm, and structure of the sperm. All these factors combined allow doctors to determine whether or not you can conceive a child.
A hormonal profile test, as the name suggests, assesses your hormones. After receiving the detailed hormonal profile, the doctor studies your sperm production. Additionally, the doctor may also evaluate the levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Testosterone, Prolactin, and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) to detect infertility in the man.
The cause of male infertility varies from person to person, and so does its treatment. When it comes to non-surgical treatment for male infertility, the doctor might suggest the following treatments based on the cause of infertility:
· Anejaculation: In this condition, man cannot produce semen at all. The condition is generally caused due to prior surgery, diabetes, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, abnormalities present at birth, and other mental or physical problems.
Treatment for anejaculation generally includes medicines, psychotherapy, and sex-therapy.
· Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH):
If infertility is caused due to adrenal hyperplasia, a condition that involves congenital problems in certain enzymes, the doctor might suggest hormone replacement treatment.
· Retrograde Ejaculation:
This condition involves a backward flow of semen instead of the usual ejaculation and is a reason for male infertility. The condition may occur as a result of prostate or bladder surgeries, diabetes, taking antidepressants, spinal cord injury, etc. This condition is typically treated with drugs.
· Surgical Treatments for Male Infertility
Varicocele treatment: Varicocele is a leading cause of infertility in men. This condition is categorized by an enlargement of veins in the scrotum. The enlarged and swollen veins can be fixed through varicocelectomy, a surgical procedure to treat varicocele. If a varicocele is the cause behind infertility in a man, this surgery can help reverse it. You can get in touch with our vascular surgeons to get varicocelectomy at cost-effective prices.
Azoospermia Treatment: Azoospermia is a condition in which the ejaculate does not have any sperm in it. It is generally caused due to a blockage that does not allow sperm to enter the ejaculate. This can hamper a man’s ability to impregnate a woman. Several surgical procedures, including TESA, PESA, and MESA, can help treat this condition and restore fertility.
While the aforementioned non-surgical and surgical male infertility treatments can help restore fertility in some cases, in other cases, Assisted Reproductive Techniques or ART may be the final way out. These techniques involve handling both eggs and sperm surgically and letting the couple conceive without having sex. The fertility specialists run some diagnostic tests to determine the type and cause of male infertility and then suggest the suitable Assisted Reproductive Technique. The most commonly performed ART include
IVF has emerged as the most reliable ART over the years. This technique involves fertilization of the female or donor egg with the sperm of a male partner or donor in a petri dish outside of the woman’s body. Ovarian stimulation is a key part of this procedure and marks the first step of this comprehensive procedure. It helps the fertility specialist collect multiple mature eggs. The mature egg is then fertilized with the sperm in the lab, and the fertilized egg or embryo is then implanted in the woman’s uterus. A pregnancy test is performed two weeks after the implantation.
This method is generally prescribed in case the male partner has very severe oligospermia, i.e., low sperm count or the woman has blocked fallopian tubes.
IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is another common and reliable ART, which involves the direct injection of sperm into the uterus. IUI offers increased chances of conception, as a large concentration of healthy sperm is injected very close to the egg in the female partner. Fertility specialists suggest this method in cases where the male partner has a low sperm count, retrograde ejaculation, sperm movement problems, or other conditions that might be causing infertility.
ICSI is a type of IVF treatment suggested in cases of severe male infertility. If the male partner has very poor sperm quality, no sperm in the semen, or a block of testicular failure that can’t be cured, ICSI may be the best fertility treatment for him. In this technique, the doctor uses a tiny needle to inject a single sperm into the egg. When the egg is fertilized, it is implanted in the uterus of the female partner.