Male Fertility (Andrology)

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About one out of every three cases of infertility is due to the man alone, and we’re somehow involved in infertility about half the time. A diagnosis of male infertility can be one of the hardest challenges. … Read More

Male Fertility (Andrology)

What is Male Infertility? Male Infertility simply means the inability of a male to make a fertile female pregnant as a result of a deficiency in the semen.  Approximately male infertility is responsible for one-third of the infertility cases experienced by couples. It is most common in polluted environments such as pesticides, herbicides, etc. Risk Factors Factors that can contribute to the development of this condition include:
  • Old age
  • Overuse of alcohol.
  • Overweight.
  • Exposure to heat and overheating of the testicles.
  • Toxins such as herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals.
When Do I See A Doctor? You should consult with a doctor once you begin noticing the following: 
  • Reduced sex drive and erectile dysfunction
  • Pains in the testicle area
  • If you have a record of prostate complications before
  • If you can conceive a child after a year of active unprotected sex.
Diagnosis Of Male Infertility On consulting with your doctor, he goes through your medical records and performs a general physical examination, which includes examining the genitals. Also, your history of sexual activities and habits are checked. The following tests can be carried out to diagnose the condition:
  1. A semen analysis 
  2. Hormonal testing; to check for abnormalities in hormonal secretion.
  3. Scrotal ultrasound test; to check for varicocele and other structures around the scrotum.
  4. Genetic tests
  5. Post–ejaculation urinalysis. 
  6. Specialized sperm function test; done also to check how well your sperm survives after ejaculation.
  7. Testicular Biopsy and Transrectal Ultrasound can be carried out to determine if the infertility is caused by a blockage or if it’s a transportation of the sperm that is the issue.
Treatment Of Male Infertility Treatment is dependent on the degree of impairment of the condition, as the exact cause might not be ascertained. Treatment can be as follows:
  • In the case of varicocele, surgery is recommended.
  • Antibiotics may be administered to treat any infection. 
  • Medications are given for erectile dysfunction.
  • Hormonal regulatory drugs are also administered.
  • Assisted reproductive technology such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization can be done.
  • Supplements such as black seed, coenzyme Q10, folic acid, horse chestnut, L–carnitine, zinc, etc, can help improve male infertility.
  • The adjustment also in your sex life could help such as an increase in the frequency of sex, having sex when fertilization is possible, etc.
Prevention Of Male Infertility You can prevent male infertility through the following ways:
  • Healthy dieting such as eating high-fat dairy, vegetarian source proteins, avoiding fried and processed food products, etc.
  • Putting on a protective cup and jockstrap to protect the testicles during exercise. 
  • Avoiding smoking.
  • Avoiding excess alcohol and heavy drugs.
  • Avoiding too much stress.
  • Avoiding being in heated places for long.
  • Avoid wearing tight underwear, shorts, and trousers.


The important sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. In some cases,an underlying problem such as an inherited disorder, a hormonal imbalance, dilated veins around the testicle or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm causes signs and symptoms.

Although most men with male infertility do not notice symptoms other than the inability to conceive a child, signs and symptoms associated with male infertility include:

• Problems with sexual function — for example, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
Symptoms Of Male Infertility

The main sign of male infertility is the inability to get a fertile woman pregnant with whom there is ongoing active sex, without the use of a contraceptive.

There could be other symptoms like:

  • Abnormal breast growth
  • Recurrent respiratory infection
  • Problems with sexual functions, for example, difficulty in maintaining an erection, reduced sexual desire, etc.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Pain or swellings around the testicle area.
  • Reduced ability to smell.
  • Low sperm count. 
  • Causes

    What Causes Infertility In Male?

    Although exact causes have not yet been identified. Some factors such as environmental factors, genetic factors,  etc, may contribute to male infertility.

    Environmental factors include:

    • Excess heat due to tight clothing, or prolonged driving.
    • Drugs such as antibiotics, anabolic steroids, alcohol, marijuana, etc
    • Pesticides, lead, mercury, and heavy metals.
    • Stress and excess cycling exercises
    • Chronic diseases like anemia, cancer, diabetes, neurological diseases, etc.
    • Deficiencies in vitamins such as zinc, vitamin C, folic acid, etc.
    • Enlargement of the vein inside the scrotum. It is called “varicocele”, which is due to abnormal testicular temperature regulation.
    • Infections of the male genital tract such as retrograde ejaculation, cancer,  etc.
    • Obesity
    • Complications of surgery on the male genital tract

    Genetic factors include:

    • Deletion of the Y chromosomes as a result affecting the production of sperm. It is found to occur in 1 in every 2000 males
    • Hormonal irregularities and imbalances.
    • Men with Klinefelter's syndrome.
    • Any of the following can cause a man to have a low sperm count or abnormal sperm:

      • Varicocele — an abnormal collection of bulging veins above the testicle; they’re the most common cause of correctable male infertility, accounting for 38% of cases
      • Undescended testicle
      • Infections in the testicle (orchitis), the prostate (prostatitis), or elsewhere in the body that causes a fever
      • Chemotherapy for cancer
      • Medicines such as anabolic steroids or anti-seizure medicines
      • Genetic abnormalities
      • Hormone problems


      What are some causes of sperm not maturing?

      Certain conditions can affect spermatogenesis; the production of new sperm cells. Such conditions include hormonal imbalance, varicocele, some times it could be genetic.

      What can a man do to improve the shape and motility of his sperm?

      The shape of sperm has little effect on the fertility of the sperm and there is no clear improvement method yet for the shape of the sperm. However, a healthy lifestyle with lots of vegetables can help.

      Can male infertility be treated?

      Treatment of male infertility is to target the causes of the condition and the degree of impairment. They can include hormonal therapy, a surgical method to retrieve sperm, antibiotics to treat infections, supplements to improve the sperm, etc.

      What can reduce your sperm count?

      Some certain habits or factors can reduce one's sperm count. Such include tobacco smoking, intense use of alcohol,  emotional stress, depression, weight gain, the use of anabolic steroid, etc.

      Is healthy sperm thick or running?

      The male semen is usually a thick whitish fluid. Ejaculating watery sperm may be a sign of low sperm count, showing fertility problems. Although, thin clear semen could be a temporary condition with no serious health condition or concern.