Common Signs of Infertility in Men
In the medical community, infertility has been defined as the inability to conceive after a year or more frequent, unprotected sex. Infertility is stressful, frustrating, and more common than you may think, affecting about 10-15% of heterosexual couples. According to research, in about a third of these couples, fertility issues are related to the male partner.
Symptoms of Male Infertility
Typically, the biggest ( and sometimes only) indication of male infertility is the inability to conceive. However, in some cases, other symptoms of male infertility may include:
- Difficulties with ejaculation or erection
- Low sex drive
- Pain, swelling, or a lump in the testicle area
- Hormonal issues (i.e. abnormal breast growth, loss of facial or body hair)
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may want to see a specialist for fertility testing.
Causes & Risk Factors of Male Infertility
Most commonly, issues with male reproduction involve the production of abnormal sperm. Factors that may lead to unhealthy sperm can include:
- Genetic defects
- Health issues such as diabetes
- Infections such as, chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps or HIV
- Cigarette or marijuana smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Exposure to extreme heat
If you feel you may be at risk for developing infertility issues, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that may improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Diagnosing Male Infertility
When diagnosing male infertility, doctors will first run a semen analysis, to test whether the sperm is immature, abnormally shaped, unable to swim, or presents in low quantity. Your doctor may also order a blood test to check for hormone or pituitary gland problems, and/or an ultrasound to check for blockages or structural issues within the genital tract. Any other exams and tests will depend on the nature of your condition.
Treatment of Male Infertility
Treatment for male infertility varies from case to case. However, some treatment options may include:
- Artificial insemination, which involves placing healthy sperm at the entrance of the cervix or right into a partner, or gestational carrier’s uterus
- In-vitro Fertilization (IVF), a method in which the sperm and the egg are fertilized in-vitro, and then placed into a partner or gestational carrier’s uterus
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a procedure in which a single sperm is injected into an egg to create an embryo
If you’d like to learn more about infertility in men, or are seeking help for fertility issues, schedule an appointment with Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists today. Our specialists are here to help you find a solution that is best for both you and your partner.