Male Infertility and Sexual Health – Causes

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Male infertility is a physical issue with your reproductive system that prevents you from successfully impregnating a female. Sexual health and infertility are complex issues with many causes.

Sperm and egg must cooperate in order for pregnancy to take place, with factors like genes, hormone levels, and environmental conditions playing a role.

1. Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers and they play an essential role in controlling various organs and systems. Hormones regulate metabolism and appetite, sleep patterns, moods and stress levels, heart rate as well as sexual and reproductive functions.

Hormonal imbalances are an unfortunately common occurrence and can lead to infertility, especially among women. They occur when your endocrine glands have difficulty producing or secreting hormones that regulate reproduction and pregnancy.

Some hormonal imbalances in women may be caused by diseases that affect the ovaries or male reproductive system anomalies that cause sperm to develop differently from normal sperm. Your obgyn can diagnose and treat these conditions for you.

Men can experience infertility for various reasons, but most cases stem from issues with their sperm and how they move. Some conditions are treatable through surgery or other treatments such as hormonal replacement therapy.

Testicular biopsy is an invaluable way to determine whether a man is producing enough healthy sperm. Your provider takes a small piece of tissue (biopsy) from your testicles and examines it under a microscope to detect any blockages preventing you from making enough sperm.

If the biopsy indicates there may be an issue with your sperm, your healthcare provider may suggest genetic tests. These will examine the genes controlling sperm production and can identify any hereditary factors contributing to infertility.

Men may suffer from varicocele, a condition in which veins in the scrotum become twisted and restrict sperm from reaching the uterus. If this is the case for you, surgery to remove these veins and improve sperm production could potentially help you become pregnant.

Other potential causes of fertility issues for men include low sperm counts, retrograde ejaculation or an absence of sperm movement. These can be treated through various methods like intrauterine insemination or other assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization.

Your obgyn can assist you in finding the right treatment to help you conceive. They will conduct a detailed history and physical exam, along with blood work, pelvic exams, and semen analysis to diagnose your infertility and determine the most suitable course of action.

2. Varicoceles

Varicocele, or an enlarged vein in the scrotum, can have serious implications for fertility. It’s a relatively common occurrence–affecting around 15% of men–and can affect sperm count or quality.

Most people with varicoceles don’t experience any physical symptoms and remain asymptomatic (without symptoms). A few men may experience pain in their testicles when standing for extended periods of time, however.

Your doctor can diagnose varicocele by performing a physical exam and taking an extensive history of your symptoms. This includes inspecting the scrotum for any swelling, pain or lumps that could indicate varicocele.

Your doctor will also perform a physical examination of your testes, which includes testing them for size and morphology. This helps confirm the diagnosis and lets them know how serious of an issue varicocele is causing.

Varicoceles are usually asymptomatic, but they can be painful and affect fertility. When diagnosed, your doctor can provide pain medications to ease any discomfort you may be feeling.

As part of your treatment, your doctor may suggest having a testicular ultrasound, which measures blood flow in spermatic veins and gives them a better view of varicocele. This test will give them an accurate diagnosis and enable them to decide on the most suitable course of action for you.

Another option for treating a varicocele is percutaneous embolization. This procedure, though less common, involves inserting a tube into the vein supplying the varicocele and injecting either a balloon or coil into it to restrict blood flow and shrink its size.

This minimally invasive outpatient surgery will reduce your varicocele and enhance your fertility. The procedure takes less than 45 minutes, and you will be sent home the same day.

Varicocele, which affects around 15% of men, can have serious implications for both sperm count and quality. Enlarged veins in the scrotum make it difficult for sperm to pass through the vas deferens artery – the main artery transporting sperm to reproductive organs – leading to issues with quality and quantity of sperm produced.

3. Erectile Dysfunction

Male infertility can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including blocked fallopian tubes that prevent sperm from reaching the uterus, low sperm production and abnormal sperm. Furthermore, some men may have genetic conditions like Klinefelter syndrome or Y chromosome microdeletions which could interfere with their capacity for producing healthy sperm.

These underlying issues can be treated. A medical specialist can identify the source of your erectile dysfunction and then suggest treatments tailored specifically for you which is also available at

One of the primary causes of ED is the hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. This condition restricts blood flow to the penis and leads to an inability to have an erection. In some cases, doctors can repair damaged arteries to improve circulation; other treatments include surgery or using a vacuum device (penis pump).

Some forms of ED may be linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In these instances, sex therapy can be effective in both treating the ED and helping your partner accept and cope with these difficulties.

Other causes of ED include an unhealthy lifestyle, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Exercising and eating right can improve your libido and lower the likelihood of developing ED.

Antidepressants, in particular, may cause sexual side effects if taken long term. Speak to your doctor about the potential risks and advantages of any medication before taking it.

In some cases, medical specialists can treat your erectile dysfunction with medications such as sildenafil or testosterone. These drugs make it easier to obtain and maintain an erection in the future.

If these therapies don’t help you, your medical specialist can refer you to a urologist. They will perform an evaluation of both your health and sexual history, then suggest a treatment plan.

Your urologist may order a test called semen analysis. This examines the number of sperm in both testicles and ejaculatory ducts. If no sperm are present or moving, this condition is known as azoospermia.

Transrectal ultrasound is another type of ultrasound that can be used to identify issues with the ejaculatory ducts and seminal vesicles. Your urologist can use this imaging method to diagnose whether there is an underlying issue causing your erectile dysfunction, helping them determine if surgery or medication changes will solve it.

4. Testicular Dysfunction

Sperm are produced and stored in male testicles (the sac beneath the penis). These testicles then transport sperm through an epididymis-connected network to reach the vas deferens, empties them into an ejaculatory duct where they mix with seminal fluid from both seminal vesicles and prostate gland. During ejaculation, muscles contract to push semen into the urethra.

Sperm are then collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis. If it is determined that a man’s semen contain either low numbers of sperm or no sperm at all, his healthcare provider may suggest ordering a testicular biopsy.

Biopsy: This simple procedure involves administering general anesthesia to make a small cut in the scrotum and take a tissue sample. The sample is then examined under a microscope to identify what’s causing your infertility.

One way to diagnose the cause of infertility is through testicular ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to visualize structures inside the testes, such as the ejaculatory duct and seminal vesicles.

Some men are born with genetic abnormalities that influence how sperm develop and form. Examples include Klinefelter syndrome and Y chromosome microdeletions.

Can be present in either or both sexes and caused by birth defects, hereditary conditions or diseases, infections, and medical treatments which damage or impair sperm production.

Usually, the first step in improving fertility is addressing the causes of it. For instance, if chemicals or pesticides that interfere with sperm production are present in your environment, steer clear of those foods and medications.

Other treatments can improve a man’s sperm quality, increasing his likelihood of successfully conceiving with existing eggs. Unfortunately, these solutions may not always be successful.

Finally, non-neoplastic disorders can also contribute to infertility. A swollen or blocked vas deferens, for instance, could prevent sperm from leaving the testicles and thus prevent fertilization.

Male infertility can be a difficult condition to diagnose and treat, so your healthcare provider will begin by asking about your family history and reviewing your genital health. Your doctor may also order blood work or semen tests as additional steps in diagnosing the issue.

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