14 Most Common Causes of Male Infertility: Diagnosis & Treatment

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Male infertility is the inability of a man to help his wife conceive. In earlier cases of infertility, women are normally subjected to humiliation as most of the times; they are blamed for failure to reproduce. Male infertility is indeed common these days and a number of diagnosed infertility cases pinpoint to male infertility. As a leading infertility centre in India, here are 14 common causes of male infertility you must know;

Medical Causes

A variety of medical conditions can trigger male infertility and among them we have;

  1. Varicocele

A number of male infertility cases arise from varicocele. This condition is characterized by the swelling or enlargement of the veins within the scrotum. Varicocele normally results in an inferior sperm quality and often shows no symptoms.

  1. Infection

A number of infections such as HIV, Gonorrhoea, and other STDs can interfere with sperm production and their quality. In addition, the inflammation of the epididymis (Epididymitis) or testicles (Orchitis) can cause male infertility.

  1. Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones are keys to normal body functions. With that, any hormonal imbalances that arise from the Adrenal, Hypothalamus, Thyroid, and Pituitary glands can result in male infertility.

  1. Chromosome Defects

Chromosome defects are genetically triggered and they include; Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Kallmann’s syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, and Kartagener’s syndrome.

  1. Tumors

Cancer or non-malignant tumours plus their treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can trigger male infertility.

  1. Defects in the tubules

The male reproductive system is comprised of a number of tubular structures. Defects can arise from previous surgeries, injury, or abnormal developments.

  1. Previous Surgeries

Surgeries that can lead to male infertility include;

  • Abdominal surgeries “testicular and rectal cancers”

  • Vasectomy

  • Inguinal Hernia surgery

  • Testicular, Scrotal and Prostrate surgeries

  1. Ejaculation Issues

Retrograde ejaculation is a common form of abnormal ejaculation. It occurs when the semen fails to come out directly through the penis, but rather enters the bladder during sexual intercourse. Common causes of retrograde ejaculation include;

  • Medications

  • Diabetes

  • Spinal injuries

  • Surgery

Lifestyle & Environmental Male Infertility Causes

  1. Psychological factors

These include prolonged stress and depression

  1. Drug Abuse & Alcoholism

Cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco intake can lead to sperm impairments. Similarly, excessive consumption of alcohol can cause reduced sperm production and related diseases.

  1. An Exposure to Chemicals & Metals

A prolonged exposure to chemicals and heavy metals can indeed trigger male infertility

  1. Obesity

Being overweight also increases a man’s risk of infertility.

  1. X-Rays & Radiation

An increased exposure to radiation or recurrent X-rays can cause sperm impairments hence infertility.

  1. Heat

Exposing your private parts to excessive heat either in saunas, hot tubs, or even placing gadgets near your testicles can cause sperm impairments.

Diagnosing Male Infertility

There are generally a number of approaches to diagnosing male infertility and they include;

  • Physical Examination

  • Sperm Analysis

  • Laparoscopy

  • Blood tests

  • Imaging Tests

  • Testicular Biopsy

  • Genetic Tests

  • Ultrasounds

Possible Treatment Approaches for Male infertility

  • Treating any underlying infection

This is generally done with the help of antibiotics

  • Hormonal Therapy

Fertility experts commonly prescribe medicines to act as hormonal replacement therapy

  • Surgery

Varicocele and other tubal issues are treated through surgery to induce normal sperm production

  • Modern Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

These are commonly the last resort in case all other treatments fail to help man overcome infertility. ART techniques include;

  • IUI

  • ICSI

  • IVF

Unlike IUI, the rest require sperms to be surgically retrieved from the man’s testicles and then combined with the woman’s eggs for fertilization to occur.