Having a baby is a dream of many couples who have faced such a problem as infertility. To date, the long-awaited pregnancy still does not come in every fifth couple who for 12 months leads a regular sexual life without the use of contraception. This does not mean that it is necessary to pass a sentence on the family childless existence, but an indication that the partners need qualified medical care.
Many believe that infertility is a purely female problem, but this is a misconception since almost 50% of cases of difficulty in conception are caused by disorders of the male reproductive system.
It should be noted at once that the obvious symptoms of male infertility do not have, but to indicate the presence of the problem may be the following signs: the absence of pregnancy within 1 year of regular sexual intercourse, decreased potency, decreased sperm count, and the occurrence of unpleasant painful sensations.
Among the reasons that lead to problems with conception in men are the following:
- immune and genetic diseases;
- sexually transmitted diseases;
taking drugs, as well as certain medications. For example, aspirin, antidepressants, certain medications to treat epilepsy, anabiotic steroids, as well as chemo-radiotherapy, anticancer drugs;
dilated veins of the spermatic cord (varicocele);
Hormonal disorders; work in harmful industries and constant contact with harmful chemicals such as varnish and paint, arsenic, lead, zinc, carbon monoxide, ammonia, etc.
Unbalanced diet, when the diet lacks sufficient amino acids (proteins), micronutrients, and vitamins;
Bad habits such as smoking and regular alcohol consumption. Nicotine not only reduces sperm motility but also disrupts its structure. Excessive consumption of alcohol, in turn, in addition to worsening potency, leads to the production of a smaller number of sperm.
Sedentary work and sedentary lifestyle, frequent visits to saunas, baths, and taking hot baths also reduce sperm production.
Diagnosis of male infertility factor
In order to assess a man’s ability to fertilize, a spermogram is performed as part of the diagnosis of male infertility. If its results show abnormalities, a repeat examination is necessary, with an interval of at least 2 weeks. When evaluating the results of two spermograms, the best one is taken into account.
The spermogram can detect the following abnormalities:
- asthenozoospermia – sperm cells have a significant decrease in motility (less than 25%);
- oligozoospermia – the spermatozoa have a significant decrease in concentration (less than 15 million/ml);
- teratozoospermia – there is an increased number of abnormal forms of sperm (over 70%);
- oligoastheno-zoospermia – all the above pathological conditions are combined;
- Azoospermia – spermatozoa are absent in the ejaculate; aspermia – lack of ejaculate
Also, depending on the results of the spermogram, the doctor may prescribe some additional examinations:
- Scrotal ultrasound, which helps to detect varicocele or other abnormal conditions;
- Hormonal blood tests are necessary because the hormones produced by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testicles are responsible for sperm production;
- A urine test after ejaculation helps to rule out sperm throwing up into the bladder;
- Genetic studies are recommended if the spermogram will show a significant decrease in the concentration of sperm cells or their absence, and with their help, it is possible to confirm or refute some congenital syndromes;
- Testicular biopsy is performed in azoospermia in order to obtain spermatozoa and their further use in obtaining genetically their own offspring.
Transrectal ultrasound is prescribed when there is a suspicion of blockage of the vas deferens or seminal vesicles; sperm examination is performed to see if there are any abnormalities in the sperm cells and to determine their ability to penetrate the oocyte.
Treatment of male infertility can be surgical if varicocele or poor patency of the vas deferens. Also, if problems with conception were caused by the absence of sperm in the sperm, they can be obtained from the testis or its appendage and used successfully in artificial insemination.
Hormonal therapy is shown in case of deviations in the level of certain hormones in the blood, and the use of antibacterial drugs will be recommended by the doctor if during examinations there are detected infections of the genital tract.
However, even after treatment, not in all cases it is possible to restore the man’s ability to conceive, due to the insufficient number of active, mature forms of sperm. In such cases, the salvation for many childless couples is artificial insemination, when the sperm is obtained, selecting the best, injected directly into the egg for direct fertilization, then the resulting healthy embryo is transferred to the uterine cavity and get the long-awaited pregnancy.
Of course, infertility is a serious challenge for any family, but it should be remembered that modern medicine is able to give the joy of parenthood, regardless of the circumstances.