If a man and woman are trying to conceive, then sometimes, it’s an easy prospect. They might not try for very long, and the woman may get pregnant. She might carry the baby to term with no issues, and the two will become happy parents together.
Other times, though, it’s a struggle. If the couple is attempting to conceive for quite some time, but it isn’t working out for them, they might need to see a fertility doctor. The doctor can look at some reasons why the woman isn’t getting pregnant so easily.
Male infertility might be the issue. You might not know very much about it, so we’ll answer some of the more frequent questions right now.
What Are Some Common Male Infertility Causes?
If you want to know about male infertility, your first question will probably be what causes it. You might have heard some outlandish things, such as drinking too much Mountain Dew, carrying your smartphone in your front pocket next to your genitals, or playing next to a nuclear power plant as a kid.
In reality, azoospermia, varicocele, and anti-sperm antibodies are the most common reasons. We’ll go over each of those now.
What is Azoospermia?
Azoospermia is what the doctors call it when a man has no sperm in his semen. He can function sexually and ejaculate, but doing so will not get a woman pregnant.
This is one of the biggest male infertility causes. The doctor will determine whether the man has non-obstructive azoospermia. If they figure out that is what’s happening, they will usually recommend microsurgical testicular sperm extraction, or microTESE.
By doing this, the doctor can determine whether the man has adequate testosterone levels. They can also do a subsequent test to determine whether, even after they treat the man for the condition, he does not have normal testosterone levels after four months have passed.
Doctors can usually facilitate sperm production, so if your physician tells you that you have azoospermia, there’s no reason to panic.
Varicocele is what the doctors call it when a man has a vein dilation in the scrotum. If you have this, it probably means you’ll have a low sperm count.
Varicocele might affect sperm shape and production. Your testes might have a higher-than-normal temperature if the doctor diagnoses you with it.
There is a surgical procedure that can sometimes help with this issue. The doctor cuts the veins connected to the varicocele. Doctors don’t usually recommend this, though.
More often, they will recommend Assisted Reproductive Technology, or ART. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, is one example. If a doctor uses this method, you will likely only need a small sperm amount to impregnate your partner.
Your body naturally produces antibodies to fight foreign substances. However, there are situations occasionally where antibodies get into the male reproductive system. If that happens, they can kill your viable sperm, making it unlikely that you can impregnate your partner.
When this occurs, there are usually ways around it. The first thing your doctor will probably try to
determine is whether you have a prostate infection or a testicular injury that’s causing your body to produce antibodies in that body part.
A woman’s body can also make these antibodies. Semen might essentially cause an allergic reaction in her. It’s unusual, but it does happen.
When a couple struggles trying to conceive, a doctor will likely recommend a fertility test. That test will look for anti-sperm antibodies in both partners, among other things.
If a doctor is not one hundred percent sure why the woman is not getting pregnant, they will likely do all kinds of tests, but a semen analysis will undoubtedly be one of them. They will see how many sperm are in your semen, whether they appear normal, and how they move.
Based on what they see, they will determine whether it’s your semen that is the issue or whether to look elsewhere for a cause. Probably the most significant takeaway if there’s a problem is that technology exists now that can help with conception that’s better than at any other time. Depending on what the issue is, it’s highly likely that there’s a solution.
In the rare instances where conception is not possible, there is always adoption. There’s never a shortage of children looking for homes, and you might decide if the problem is insurmountable that this is you and your partner’s best solution.