Male infertility refers to a male’s inability to pregnant a fertile female partner. Almost 7% of men are suffering from male infertility. It’s common due to the deficiencies in semen and semen quality is used as a surrogate measure of male fertility. In this article, you will see the types of male infertility.
Types of Male Infertility
The results of the physical examination help to determine the type of male infertility condition. The main types of male infertility are:
Deficiency of two hormones from the pituitary gland which controls the testicular function, they can be treated by injections of hormone preparations. Basically, the testes increase in size and it produces testosterone in the normal amounts. Sperm may appear in the semen after many months of the treatment. At least 50% of the partners of men conceive during the treatment, but the treatment often needs to be given for several months. It must be repeated for each pregnancy unless the right amount of sperm can be collected during the first course of the treatment and can be stored frozen for later use. This deficiency affects less than 1% of men.
Roughly 6% of the infertile men have blockages in their genital tract which prevents the passage of the sperm between the testes to the penis and it results in the absence of sperm in semen.
There are three groups which cause of the male genital tract blockages:
- Scarring for the inflammation
- Disorders of the development of the seminal vesicles, epididymis and vas
Some of the patients can be treated with the help of bypass surgery, by joining the tube in the epididymis which is above blockage to the vas deferens. The result mainly depends on the level of blockage. This happens because the sperm is immature, not able to pass through the epididymis in which the maturation occurs. It’s possible to obtain the sperm by the surgical operation via the tubes above the obstruction, by sucking the liquid out of the epididymis via a needle. This approach is useful for the absence of vasa deferentia.
Non obstructive Azoospermia
Approximately 15% of the infertile men who have no sperm in their semen because the sperm producing cells in the testes either have not developed or have been irreversibly harmed. This may be caused by genetic disorders, inflammation of the testes or the treatment with certain drugs. It may also happen because of the testes to descend into the scrotum during childhood. For a couple suffering by this category and who are wishing to have a family, it can be done by testicular biopsy which is a fine approach.
Antibodies are basically produced in the response to the introduction of foreign material like bacteria into the body. After vasectomy is done antibodies to sperm may develop. Antibodies are found in around 6% of infertile men, who had injuries to the genital tract which may cause immunisation against the sperm. The sperm antibodies are present in the blood as well as in the semen.
The antibodies can reduce the fertility at many levels: like interference in sperm production, reducing the sperm numbers, reducing sperm motility. In these cases, IVF-ICSI is the usual approach.
Most of the men who are investigated for infertility have sperm present in the semen but the number is lower than the normal. A few 5% have the normal semen tests but there other abnormalities which can impair the fertilising ability of the sperm. There are also cases with men in the general community having poor sperm results but have no major problems in producing pregnancies.
Other conditions which are associated with infertility
Varicoceles are often present in men. The conditions such as prostate, inflammation of the testes, hormone disorders, testicular injuries. These are the conditions which are the main cause of the poor semen quality. The other factors being significant like tobacco smoking, small intake of alcohol, quality of the diet, anxiety and mental stress, wearing tight underpants, etc.
So, these are the types of male infertility. There are various treatments available for male infertility in India. You should not left it untreated and consult a doctor as soon as possible. If left untreated then it can cause more damage to your sperm.