It’s a man’s world too.
Until fairly recently, infertility was uniformly considered to be primarily female related. However, we now know infertility can be attributed almost equally to men and women. Current medical statistics show that among couples who have trouble conceiving, one-third of the diagnoses can be traced to the man, one-third to the woman, and the other one-third to issues with both partners.
In the past there was a great deal of stigma attached to infertility because people didn’t realize that most cases of infertility are related to medical issues. Thanks to medical science and technology, nearly all infertility problems have a solution. Here at the Texas Center for Reproductive Health, we have two doctors on staff with extensive expertise in evaluating and treating male reproductive issues. And we can’t stress enough the importance of the involvement of both partners in infertility evaluation and treatment.
There are many factors that can affect male fertility:
- Immune disorders
- Medical and surgical treatments that have impacted the male reproductive system
- Illnesses such as mumps
- Chemotherapy, radiation, or other cancer treatments
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Lifestyle and environmental
- Previous vasectomy or vasectomy reversal
- Family history of genetic disorders
- Type I, Type II, or diabetes mellitus
- Ejaculatory dysfunction
There are many causes of male infertility, and nearly all of them are treatable including abnormalities and anatomical problems of the male reproductive tract. Here at the Texas Center of Reproductive Health, we have extensive experience evaluating disorders affecting male reproduction.
The first item in the evaluation of the husband is a complete history and physical examination. As part of the examination we will perform a semen analysis. Even when millions of really healthy sperm arrive in the vagina, only a few hundred or so will actually get near the egg, and of those, only one will fertilize each egg. When there are abnormalities with the sperm, the chance of that one sperm making it to the egg can be greatly decreased.
- Semen volume – if the volume of semen produced is too low or too high, it can have an adverse effect on conception
- Sperm count – having a low number of sperm in the semen is a potential problem when trying to conceive
- Sperm concentration – number of sperm per milliliter of semen
- Sperm motility and forward progression – the quality of the sperm movement and the sperm’s ability to swim from the uterus to the fallopian tube is important for normal reproduction
- Sperm shape – sperm need to have a normal form in order to be capable of natural egg fertilization.
- Hormonal imbalances or problems with your endocrine system can affect your sperm, and, if appropriate for your individual case, such imbalances will be assessed and treated
- Immune system – you may develop antibodies that attack your own sperm or your wife may develop antibodies to your sperm. We gain information regarding this issue by studying how your sperm and your wife’s cervical mucous interact.