There are many reasons a couple cannot conceive. Male infertility is one of them. Male Infertility is a syndrome encompassing a wide variety of disorders. Recognition of a male factor influence in an infertile partnership is often delayed because women have traditionally been the primary focus of the infertility evaluation. Men are much more reluctant to seek advice. Men are also more apt to confuse fertility with sexual potency (the ability to have an erection), ejaculation and ability to perform sexually, and they assume that if they produce seminal fluid at orgasm then they also produce sperm.
In more than half of infertile men, the cause of their infertility is unknown and could be congenital or acquired. Causes of fertility problems in men include sperm disorders, obstructive problems (blockages in sperm-carrying tubes), testicular injury and disease, varicocele, genetic disorders, hormonal problems, general medical disorders that reduce fertility, drugs that reduce fertility, and environmental toxins and radiation.
Causes Of Low Sperm Count
Problems with sperm production – such problems can be genetic (for example Klinefelter’s syndrome) or based on a hormonal disorder
Testicular injury and disease – injuries that affect the testicles may affect sperm production and cause low sperm count
Malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies – deficiency of some nutrients (for example Zinc, Selenium, vitamin C, etc.) may also lead to low sperm count
Overheating – excessive heat from saunas, hot tubs, etc. may decrease sperm production and lower sperm count
Smoking – smoking cigarettes may impair male fertility since it is known to reduce sperm count and sperm lifespan
Drugs – the use of cocaine and heavy marijuana is known to reduce sperm count by 50%
Excessive alcohol consumption – alcohol is toxic to sperm and may reduce sperm count and quality
Prescribed medications – many prescription medications are known to reduce sperm count and decrease fertility
Environmental toxins, radiation, and heavy metals – a number of environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins or chemicals, can reduce sperm count either by affecting testicular function directly or by affecting the hormone system
Obesity – many studies find an association between low sperm count and obesity in men
Stress and excessive physical or mental exertion – these can cause some hormonal changes in the body that can affect sperm count and fertility
Varicocele – Varicocele causes veins in the scrotum to enlarge, decreasing sperm mobility and volume. 40% of men with male infertility issues have at least one Varicocele in their scrotum. It also lowers sperm quality, decreasing fertility.
Bicycling – blood vessels and nerves may be damaged due to the pressure from the bike seat
Fertility Semen Analysis
An integral part of the infertility evaluation of a couple is the examination of the male’s semen, or what is commonly referred to as semen analysis. A semen analysis is an accurate measurement of the number of sperm, their motility, and their normality. The information gained from this examination is probably the single most important test in the evaluation of the male partner.
A fresh semen sample (no more than a half hour old) is collected and then analyzed in a laboratory for a variety of different factors. In order for sperm to be able to fertilize an egg, it is necessary for seminal fluid to be of the correct consistency as well as for sperm to have maximum mobility and ideal morphology. If any of these factors are revealed to be less than perfect in a semen analysis, male fertility may be compromised. Male infertility testing is an important part of making an accurate infertility diagnosis.
IVF Phoenix Clinic Procedure
Refrain from any ejaculation including masturbation for at least 3, but not more than 5 days.
The semen specimen should be collected by masturbation. Alternate methods are not recommended. Do not collect the specimen in a condom as these contain spermicidal agents that will alter the results of the analysis.
The specimen should be collected in a container provided by your doctor.
Bring the specimen to the laboratory within ½ hour after collection. Do not expose the specimen to extremes of temperature; either extreme (hot or cold) can affect the motility and viability of your sperm. If you are unable to deliver the specimen within ½ hour, a private room is available at the clinic for collection of the specimen.
Be certain that the specimen is labeled with your name and delivered directly to one of our staff members. Specimens received without proper labeling will not be accepted for processing.