If you look at all of the books, websites, blogs, and support groups targeted at women who are struggling with infertility, you’d be forgiven for thinking that infertility is only a women’s issue. But according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the male partner is either the primary cause or a contributing cause of infertility in approximately 40% of infertile couples. Couples dealing with male infertility are often overcome with shock, and coping with it can be just as emotionally difficult for a men as it is for a women.
Male factor infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, and if your partner is facing one of them there are many ways you can help him deal with it. The Fertility Experts of The Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile, Alabama are here to talk about what causes male infertility and how you and your partner can get through it as a couple.
Causes of Male Infertility
Male infertility can be caused by a number of issues, and evaluation is the first step in overcoming male factor infertility. Evaluation of the male partner usually starts with taking a detailed medical history, giving a full physical, and performing a semen analysis. Additional testing, such as endocrine labs, an ultrasound, or genetic testing, may also be conducted.
Causes of male factor infertility include:
- Structural abnormalities which prevent the sperm/seminal fluid from getting where it needs to be.
- Disorders that cause the production of abnormal sperm.
- Non-obstructive azoospermia, wherein little to no sperm is produced by the testicles.
- An obstruction that prevents sperm being discharged.
- Immunologic disorders, such as endocrine disorders or antisperm antibodies that can prevent the sperm from penetrating the egg.
- Ejaculatory issues
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a year (or six months if you’re over 35) without success and would like to see a fertility specialist at The Center for Reproductive Medicine for an evaluation, please call
What Treatments Are Available?
Once the cause of male factor infertility has been determined, our fertility experts will put together a personalized treatment plan to put you on the path to parenthood. A number of non-invasive procedures are available to help with male infertility, including:
- A frequently used technique, called Microscopic Varicocel Repair, which focuses on decreasing venous blood flow in the reproductive tract and improving testicular function by reducing scrotal temperature.
- A Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA), wherein sperm is collected directly from the testes using a small needle.
- A technique, called Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA), used to retrieve seminal fluid from the epididymis if there’s a blockage.
- A Trans-rectal Ultrasound of the Prostate with Seminal Vesicle Aspiration, which is commonly used technique for diagnosing the presence of obstructions their location.
Make Sure to Stay Connected
The struggle with infertility is an emotional one for both members of a couple. Just like women dealing with and infertility diagnosis, men struggle with their diagnosis as well and what it means for your family. Many men struggling with infertility will experience lowered self-esteem, guilt, and a sense of failure. It’s a challenging and stressful situation for both of you, but the best way to get through it is to support each other. Take time to strengthen your connection as a couple by talking, spending time together, and finding ways to release stress.
Your partner may also find it beneficial to seek out a qualified therapist trained in helping people deal with infertility. For help finding resources in Mobile, Alabama, call The Center for Reproductive Medicine at (251) 438-4200.
The first step to tackling and overcoming male factor infertility is being diagnosed and determining an individualized treatment plan. To help you realize your dream of having a baby, make an appointment today to meet with one of the fertility experts at The Center for Reproductive Medicine at (251) 438-4200.