Common Causes of Male Infertility

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If you have been trying to achieve pregnancy without success, you are not alone.  Everyday, couples just like you struggle with infertility.  There are a myriad of factors that could be contributing to the problem, and diagnosing infertility can be a complicated process.  In most cases, we look to the woman first when it comes to infertility.  There are a variety of problems that can cause female infertility including ovulation problems, blockages or other problems with the Fallopian Tubes, Endometriosis, Fibroid Tumors, STDs and more.  However, there are also a number of factors that can contribute to male infertility.  Before implementing any type of treatment, it is important to accurately pinpoint the source of the problem.

Male infertility can occur due to a number of reasons including hormonal issues, a low sperm count or problems with the sperm’s motility and/or morphology.  Basically, for pregnancy to occur, an egg must be properly fertilized by the male.  This requires that man produces enough healthy sperm and that the sperm are able to get to the egg for fertilization.  Any breakdown in this process can lead to problems with infertility.

The first step in pinpointing the cause of male infertility is to visit a doctor.  He or she will most likely start with a complete physical exam including a complete medical and family history.  Next, the physician may recommend a semen analysis.  This test looks for any problems with sperm production, sperm count and/or sperm motility (movement) and morphology (shape).  If the semen analysis comes back normal, the doctor will likely recommend that the female partner undergo thorough testing before any further testing is conducted on the male partner.  If no female infertility problems are detected, he or she may then recommend further male infertility testing including hormone testing, a scrotal ultrasound, genetic tests or more.

It is important to note that every case of infertility is different and may be caused by a variety of factors instead of just one.  That makes the process of identifying and treating the problem much more difficult.  The good news is that once the source or sources of the problem have been pinpointed, there are a wide variety of treatments that can be used to help you and your partner reach your goal of becoming pregnant.

Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.

 

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