Male infertility is more common than many people realise. A third of the couples that visit Dr Joseph with fertility concerns find out that it is due to factors involving the male.
A male infertility test can be done via a simple, non-invasive semen analysis which is the recommended first step before the discomfort and expense required to assess if the issue is present in the woman.
If you have not been able to conceive after lengthy periods of unprotected sex, men should be screened to assess their fertility. Read on to learn more about this process.
Male infertility is often caused by sperm-based issues, including sperm transport and blockages and functional and hormonal problems.
Inability to conceive a child may be due to male infertility, which can be summarised as:
It is important to know that a man’s sperm production can be affected by their general health, which means the sperm function can vary in relation to other health issues.
The primary symptom of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child after 12 months of unprotected sex. The main signs that may indicate this is an issue include:
Testing for sperm antibodies should be routine for men with infertility. Anti-sperm antibodies may lead to sperm movement disorders or cause interference with sperm-to-egg binding.
A number of factors can cause male infertility, and it is important to book an assessment as a first step if you are worried this may be an issue for you.
Some of the possible causes include:
The first step is a consultation with Dr Joseph, in which he will work to understand your medical history. This will include a physical examination and semen analysis to understand your sperm count and the shape and movement of the sperm.
Dr Joseph will also check the sperm samples for abnormalities and the presence of antibodies. If abnormalities are present, we may require blood tests to assess hormone levels. All of this information will assist in the final diagnosis.
A testicular biopsy may also be recommended, which involves a fine needle and microscope to assess the network of tubes within the testicles. Ultrasound scans may also be required to evaluate the prostate gland and other organs.
It is not uncommon for several semen analysis tests to be performed over a specific period to ensure more accurate results. Some additional tests may be required to help identify the cause of infertility, and these can include:
While sperm quality cannot be improved with any form of treatment, your chances of having a baby can be strengthened with assisted reproductive technologies.
Infertile men can increase the chances of pregnancy with:
As with most issues, prevention is the best method of avoiding a problem. In the case of male infertility, men should quit or avoid smoking, avoid unnecessary drugs or toxins, take antioxidants and try to have children at a younger age.
Keeping the scrotum cooler than your core body temperature can also help, and try to avoid STIs as they can cause infertility. If you are concerned about male fertility, book an appointment with Dr Joseph by calling (03) 9416 1586. Dr Joseph is an IVF fertility specialist who provides holistic medical care to help couples realise their dreams of starting a family.
The semen analysis provides an accurate measurement of the number of sperm, motility (proportion of sperm that can swim) and
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Certainly, if you have been trying to conceive naturally for at least one year, you may have reason to be concerned.
You can make an appointment to come in and have a chat with us at the clinic if you have any concerns.
If you would like to book a consultation, please call on (03) 9416 1586, or click below to contact us.