In simple terms, male infertility refers to a couple’s inability to conceive due to abnormal sperm function or quality. For 7% of couples, the infertility is primarily due to low sperm counts. However, for 20-40% of all couples, there is a contributing male factor. While the most common reason for infertility is the quality or quantity of sperm in the semen, hormonal and sexual reasons can also be to blame.
What Causes Male Infertility?
Some men suffer from infertility as a result of other medical conditions, including infection, cancer, or structural problems such as an absent vas deferens. Another common cause is a condition called varicocele, which is a collection of bulging veins above the testicle. But in many cases, male infertility isn’t linked to any other health conditions. Some men simply produce less — or less effective — sperm than others, and the reasons aren’t always clear.
How is Male Infertility Diagnosed?
Male infertility is diagnosed through semen analysis. For the best results, semen is collected by masturbation — using a lubricant that won’t affect fertility levels. Occasionally, men will be given the option of providing a sample with a special silicone condom, which they must wear during intercourse. To ensure the semen analysis results are as accurate as possible, test subjects must abstain from sex for 48 hours before the sample is taken. However, it’s important that abstention doesn’t last longer than a week.
For accurate results, the sample must arrive at the testing laboratory within 45 minutes, and it must be kept reasonably warm without being overheated. Laboratory technicians can then assess the sperm in the semen for quantity and mobility.
Specialized Fertility Services at Alabama Fertility
It is estimated that around 40% of all infertility relates to the male in a relationship. If you’re worried about your inability to conceive, you can get the answers you’re looking for at Alabama Fertility. Using your individual medical history, your clinician will arrange specific tests to investigate the problem. Depending on the results of semen analysis, further tests to check hormone levels and various other physical factors might be ordered. The highly experienced team of healthcare professionals at Alabama Fertility are ready to investigate your infertility issues with compassion and understanding.