Understanding Male Infertility and Treatment
14 December 2022
14 December 2022
Please take heart that experiencing male infertility doesn’t mean there aren’t options for you to conceive. Some of the male infertility treatment options available to you may include , surgery, , or even . We receive lots of questions about male factor infertility, so in this blog post, we’ll answer some of the common questions we hear about male infertility and share information about male infertility treatment options.
Male fertility problems are common, affecting about 1 in 20 men. We know that 30% of fertility issues are due to , 30% are due to male factor infertility, 30% are due to a combination of female and male factor infertility, and 10% are due to unexplained fertility, where a cause for infertility cannot be found. As people are increasingly choosing to postpone parenthood into their mid-late 30s and 40s, women often experience infertility due to their age. Female fertility naturally begins to decline at 30 years of age, with a sharp decline after 35 years of age. In comparison, male fertility declines much more gradually than female fertility. The odds of being infertile for men do increase with age. Men older than 40 years of age are more likely to experience male infertility but many remain fertile into older age.
In men, increasing age is associated with a number of changes in their reproductive system. Some of these changes include:
Male infertility can be caused by any number of factors, including genetic abnormalities, hormone problems, or damage to the testes. As a result, there is a failure to produce enough sperm. Some problems develop before puberty and others in adulthood.
Several factors can contribute to male infertility, including medical issues (including heritable and non-heritable diseases), lifestyle and environmental exposures.
Some of the common medical issues that are causes of male infertility include:
Sexually transmitted infections e.g. Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Ureaplasma urealyticum,Trichomonas vaginalis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Idiopathic - unexplained infertility.
Numerous chemicals and toxins have been suggested to contribute to male infertility, some acting to disrupt the hormonal balance that drives sperm production.
This wide range of chemicals and toxins include various pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, metals, additives, and contaminants commonly found in food and personal care products. Smoking definitely damages sperm and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to male infertility.
There are things you can do today that can have a positive impact on your reproductive health. There is strong evidence for some of these strategies (e.g. quitting smoking) while for others the evidence is weaker but the ‘precautionary principle’ would be to take action ‘just in case’. And positive lifestyle changes add up ... so doing many as possible is ‘the way to go’.
Men with fertility concerns, or bothered by such symptoms require a holistic review of their health This often begins with the GP and then further investigation by a in male reproductive health. If you’re experiencing difficulties conceiving, it is recommended that you see a .
Male infertility treatment options include:
Sperm cryopreservation, more commonly known as , is used to preserve male fertility. This treatment is recommended for individuals who are about to undergo treatments that may compromise their fertility, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, vasectomy, or gender affirmation surgery. It is also recommended for people that are planning on postponing parenthood.
is a specialized in vitro fertilisation (IVF) technique that involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg. This treatment is suitable for individuals with abnormalities in sperm morphology, motility, and sperm count. ICSI was designed to treat male factor infertility.
involves the injection of washed sperm (healthy sperm that have been separated from mucus and non-motile sperm in the semen) directly into the uterus via a catheter. This technique allows the sperm to bypass the cervix, which can be difficult to penetrate if the sperm have low motility. IUI is only a male infertility treatment option for people that have a good sperm count and sperm quality but have low sperm motility.
Monash IVF recognises the psychological impact of fertility difficulties. Individuals may experience heightened levels of stress, depression, guilt, and anxiety - which can in turn affect sexual desire and function. We offer for individuals and couples, which may assist you on your reproductive journey. If you’re experiencing male factor infertility, you’re not alone. There are experts that can help you. You can find a Monash IVF Fertility Specialist closest to you
The key to successful conception starts with developing a treatment plan that is tailored to you. At Monash IVF, you’ll begin your reproductive journey with an , carried out by one of our experienced Once we have an overview of your medical history and, if applicable, your partner’s medical history, we will undertake a to assess your fertility and identify any abnormalities. Using this information, your fertility specialist will then design a tailored treatment plan to give you the best chance of conception.
Monash IVF has been providing leading fertility services for 50+ years. We have clinics across Australia and have helped bring more than 50,000 babies into the world. , or book a to discuss your questions, concerns, and treatment options with a fertility expert.