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As many as 15% of couples are infertile. These couples have not been able to conceive even after trying regular and unprotected sex for a year or more. Male infertility plays a role in about a third of these couples. male infertility could be a result of different reasons like an abnormal sperm function, low sperm production and the delivery of sperms. Chronic health problems, illnesses, injuries, lifestyle choices and certain other factors play a role in male infertility.
Inability to conceive can be frustrating but various male infertility treatments are available to remedy the situation.

What are the symptoms of male infertility?

There might not be obvious signs or symptoms other than the inability to conceive a child. Underlying problems, like dilated veins around the testicles or hormonal imbalance, could be the reason. Some signs and symptoms that might be present in some cases include:

  • swelling or lump, sometimes accompanied by pain in the testicular area
  • recurrent respiratory infections
  • problems with sexual function, like difficulty in ejaculation or small volumes of ejaculated fluid, difficulty in maintaining an erection or a reduced sexual desire
  • abnormal growth of breasts
  • decreased body or facial hair and other signs of hormonal abnormalities

What are the causes of male infertility?

  • Sperm disorders - The sperm disorders are among the most common problems. They might not be fully grown, oddly shaped, low in number and might not move properly. Low or abnormal sperm count can result from damage to the reproductive system.

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  • Varicoceles - They are swollen veins in the scrotum. Though they can be found in 16% of all men, almost 40% of infertile men have this problem. Sperm growth is hampered by blocking proper drainage. The testicles remain warm and proper sperm development cannot take place.
  • Retrograde Ejaculation - The semen moves backwards in this problem. Instead of the penis, they empty into the bladder. The nerves and muscles in the bladder do not close during orgasm. Though the semen might have normal sperm, it cannot reach the vagina.
  • Immunologic infertility - Sometimes antibodies are produced by the body that attacks the sperms. These antibodies are often produced after surgery, injury or infection.
  • Obstruction - The sperms can be blocked sometimes, Swelling, repeated infections and developmental defects can be the reason that causes such a problem.

How can male infertility be diagnosed?

It might be quite difficult to diagnose the causes of male infertility. However, the diagnosis generally begins with a full history and physical exam.

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  • Semen analysis - The semen analysis is a routine lab test, which is often performed twice. The sample is collected in a sterile cup and studied for irregularities that can be disrupting conception. The sperm count, volume, structure, motility and concentration are among the factors that are considered.
  • Transrectal Ultrasound - Ultrasound waves are used to find the picture of an organ. The report can help to see if there the ejaculatory ducts are poorly formed or blocked.
  • Testicular biopsy - A testicular biopsy might be performed if the sperm count is low. The biopsy helps to find the cause as well as collect sperm for assisted reproduction.
  • Hormonal profile - The hormonal levels are checked to ensure the proper functioning of the testicles.

Since the signs and symptoms are not apparent in most cases, visiting a doctor should be considered if conception is not resulting after regular and unprotected sex.

Authored By Dr.Mugdha Raut, MD & Dr.Mohan Raut, MD

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The lyers went form clinic to clinic . They tried everything,including IVF. Nothing worked.But they were not the ones to give up hope! Finally,after 5 years of waiting,Nisha was born to them at our clinic.

An open letter from Dr Mugdha

Nisha is 21 now! she is hale and hearty; beautiful to look at and very very spirited. To me, she could have been no one other than that - knowing first hand how she was brought into the world.

It is beautiful story I love to tell,especially to those couples who have resigned to a life without a child.

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