Recently, infertility in men and the diagnosis of various causes of inability to conceive offspring has become a serious problem, both medical and social.
Male infertility is a violation of male reproductive function. It is the result of changes in the quality and quantity of sperm cells as a result of the transferred inflammatory processes in the genital organs, infectious diseases and chronic pathologies.
Today, infertility in men is relevant along with female infertility. According to statistics, the share of childless couples at the fault of men is 45%. If during a year during regular sexual intercourse a woman does not become pregnant, the sexual partner is considered infertile.
Causes of Male Infertility
There are many different reasons that ultimately prevent a man from becoming a father. Only a properly carried out diagnosis can establish the final diagnosis of the disease. The main causes of infertility in men include:
- Varicocele - is one of the reasons infertility. Pathology is based on the varicose vascular dilation of the spermatic cord, which serves as a channel for sperm removal. Because of the disease, the temperature in the testicles rises, which over time affects the sperm state. Only a doctor can determine the existence of varicocele.
- Injuries to the genitals and defects in their development is a significant reason why a man is not capable of fertilization. The main defects include: the presence of only one testicle, their undescended into the scrotum, a defect in the development of the penis, in which the urethra opens below the top of the head.
- Genetic disruptions are not only the cause of male infertility, but also the birth of babies with genetic abnormalities that are later inherited. The presence of failures at the genetic level sometimes does not allow the use of the IVF method, since there is a chance of having a child with serious illnesses and, as a result, an expensive procedure may be ineffective.
- Infections - which are sexually transmitted (trichomoniasis, syphilis, etc.).
- Infections that cause damage to cells whose function is to produce spermatozoa: brucellosis, mumps and others.
- Inflammatory processes in the prostate and ureters.
- Causes of a sexual nature - lack of erection or its complete absence, premature ejaculation. To solve such problems will help not the andrologist, but the sexologist.
- New growth in the testes - benign and malignant are the leading cause of impaired potency and male infertility.
- Decrease and weakness of the body's immune system.
- Regular medication and antibiotics for a long time.
Types of male infertility
The inability to conceive is determined by two signs: anatomical and functional.
Infertility secretory - develops on the basis of impaired production and maturation of sperm. It can be both temporary and permanent.
Temporary disturbances are associated with harmful factors: increased temperature of the body, the environment, harmful and toxic fumes, and so on. By eliminating the impact of these factors, the natural process of sperm production and maturation will be restored.
Permanent infertility - The reason is genetic abnormalities or congenital disorders in the development of canals in the epididymis. The defeat of the tubular system can be observed in the case of mumps, as well as in autoimmune disease. Atrophy of tubular cells and damage to the epididymis is irreversible.
Infertility excretory - The reason is the difficulty of sperm passing through the sperm ducts. This obstruction can cause adhesions in the tubules of the epididymis of one of the testicles. Spermatozoa can not get into the seminal fluid. Usually adhesions are formed due to inflammatory processes, benign and malignant neoplasms in testicular tissues, due to injuries.
Autoimmune infertility - is a consequence of the violation of the barrier between the vessels and the ducts for carrying the seed. An immune response begins to form in the blood - the body takes its own sperm cells as an alien invasion. The consequence is that antisperm antibodies begin to reduce sperm motility and as a result, the latter die altogether.
Combined infertility - The reason is a violation of the maturation of sperm, as well as the presence of additional obstacles to ejaculation.
Infertility relative - it is determined when there are no visible reasons: the spermogram corresponds to the norm, there are no obstacles for the sexual life, but the long-awaited conception cannot occur. The cause of this type of infertility is a violation of hygiene during sexual intercourse.
Diagnosis of infertility in men
After a medical examination, a man is prescribed a semen analysis, which is repeated two to three times. Before that, it is recommended to refrain from sexual contact and masturbation for two to three days.
The volume rate of the ejaculator ranges from three to five ml, but if the amount is less than the prescribed rate, this indicates hypofunction of the testicles. When the volume of sperm is less than two ml, even despite a positive spermogram, it is unlikely to conceive a child, since the volume of sperm is small. One milliliter of sperm must contain at least twenty million sperm, their low number indicates oligozoospermia, which develops on the background of testicular hypofunction or unilateral obstruction of the outgoing seed pathways. This leads to male infertility.
When bilateral obturation in the absence of sperm in the semen talk is azoospermia. In order to fertilize an egg, only one spermatozoon is needed, but if their number is reduced to one million, conception is made impossible. During ejaculation, two hundred million spermatozoa fall on the cervix, more than half of which will overcome the mucus plug of the cervical tubule, but only a small portion of the spermatozoa will reach the mouth of the uterus tubes. Due to the fact that the egg is located only in one of the fallopian tubes, only half of the spermatozoids fall into it. This means that the smaller they are in the ejaculate, the less chance there is for conceiving. With a critical decrease in the rate of sperm, a diagnosis of male infertility is made.
The main number of sperm cells has a rectilinear nature of movements or chaotic. The reduced number of motile sperm is called asthenozoospermia, and their absence is called necrosis.
Both the mobility and the amount in the ejaculator of spermatozoa depends on the frequency of sexual contacts. Therefore, it is recommended that the patient refrain from intercourse during the diagnosis of infertility in order to obtain reliable spermogram results. Performing sexual intercourse in a row, sperm will lose fertility, and contraception is not needed.
If couples do not refrain from sexual contact before conception, they can be fruitless, because with frequent sperm acts, the number of immature spermatozoa with low viability and motility increases. The largest number of mature, viable sperm cells appears in the semen only after several days of abstinence.
Morphological analysis assesses the percentage of normal sperm. If more than half of them have a full-fledged structure - this is considered normal, a reduced amount is called teratozoospermia. Many men undergoing examination sometimes show sperm agglutination, which is contrary to normal values. Sperm should not contain plots of sperm cells, as this sperm looks heterogeneous, and the plots have a high density and a rich shade and also slow down the speed of sperm cells. This change in sperm, leading to infertility, is a consequence of inflammatory pelvic disease and hormonal disorders in the body.
A large number of white blood cells warns of inflammatory processes in the urogenital tract.
Also, the examination requires consultation of the urologist to identify the following diseases: vesiculitis, prostatitis and epididymitis.
The functioning of the reproductive system in men
A sperm cell is a male sex cell that contains paternal genes. Information about the genes is concentrated in the sperm head, and thanks to the tail, the spermatozoon moves and reaches the egg cell. First, it moves along twisted channels that go straight into the tubule and further into the epididymis.
The length of all the tubules is generally about five hundred meters. Moving slowly along the tortuous canals, the spermatozoon manages to mature and is able to fertilize the egg. In the epididymis, it passes the final stage of its growth and then goes through the sperm duct into the seminal vesicles. Here, sperm cells accumulate, then mix with epithelial secretion, which contains nutrients for sperm. Then from the seminal vesicle, the seminal fluid begins to evacuate during ejaculation, to mix with the secret in the prostate gland. This formed fluid is called sperm.
The main cause of infertility in men are: obturation of the canal, when the sperm is not ejected from the urethra due to obstacles encountered, impaired secretory function.
Male Infertility Treatment
There are many ways to treat this male disease:
- Surgical intervention - varicocele can be cured by surgery, but the obstruction of the duct carrying out the seed can only be eliminated. The patency is restored after the procedure of vasectomy. If there are no spermatozoa in the semen, it is possible to get them from the testicle or its appendages (epididymis) and then apply for artificial insemination.
- Treatment of diseases against infections - antibiotics fight off infectious diseases of the genital tract, but antibiotic therapy is sometimes unable to restore the problem of fertility.
- Treatment of the sexual problem - medicinal drugs and consultation of a professional specialist will help to solve such pathologies as: erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
- Therapy on a hormonal background - this treatment is prescribed in case of deviation of the concentration of certain hormones in the blood.
- Artificial insemination - obtaining normal sperm (from donors, after extraction), putting them into the female genital tract, as well as fertilization, bypassing the woman's body (intracytoplasmic injection). Quite rarely, male fertility is not restored, but the couple still has a chance to use donor sperm.
Factors provoking the inability to conceive include:
- The use of prohibited drugs
- Excessive drinking
- Infectious diseases,
- Testicular trauma
- Toxic substances and fumes
- Violation of temperature in the testicles,
- Surgery of the abdominal cavity, pelvic organs, vasectomy,
- Congenital impairment of fertility of a man or his close relatives,
- Pathologies are types of tumors, chronic diseases,
- Surgical interventions
- Certain treatments are laser beam therapy and more.
Infertility is not a disease, but a condition of the male body. There is no list of definite and clear signs of symptoms. The main feature is the absence of conception from a partner after twelve months of normal sex life. In this case, it is necessary to comprehensively examine both partners.
According to statistics, 15% of married couples remain barren. In half the cases, the cause is male infertility.
The news of infertility is a terrible and difficult surprise for men. Women, too, are shocked to learn about the infertility of a partner, but this does not compare with the pain that a man goes through during the news, as in the subconscious mind most men identify their masculinity with the function of the genitals. And such news of the inability to have children delivers a painful blow to self-love. Sometimes a man leaves the family, believing himself not to create a serious relationship. Often this situation ends with alcoholism, the relationship between the spouses undergo changes not for the better.
Many men refuse surveys, as they are afraid to hear about infertility. But if the family has a problem with conception, it is necessary to adhere to the recommendations of experts how to conduct a sex life correctly. In this situation, the partners sometimes neglect love games, caressing and think only about the implementation of the doctor's advice. This has an adverse effect on the relationship between partners.
Way out of this situation
The best option is a joint visit to a specialist, even if one of the spouses is treated for infertility. The support of relatives at the moment is very necessary and it is better to go this way together. Prevention of infertility should be carried out already from childhood. In many cases, infertility is associated with lifestyle and various diseases. To preserve fertility for many years, it is advisable to follow certain tips.
Youthful sexual experience
Currently, most young people have their first experience in their youth. At the same time, they do not think at all about his safety, but only worry about the positive emotions they receive during intercourse. Even in marriage, some men have contacts with other partners. Therefore, they need to be tested for sexually transmitted infections. In the presence of such infections, the concentration and motility of spermatozoa decreases, leading to infertility.
Ways of satisfaction
Lovers of anal or oral sex need to be very careful. With such contacts, various microorganisms penetrate the reproductive tract and cause chaos. This leads to inflammation of the reproductive tract and genital dysbacteriosis.
Therefore, partners who love these methods of satisfaction, it is recommended to examine the flora of the reproductive system. In men, bacteriological culture, which determines the number of microorganisms and their sensitivity to antimicrobial drugs, is taken.
It is advisable to reduce the number of sexual partners and use condoms to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
It is recommended to examine the sperm. Spermogram will determine the number of sperm cells, their structure, mobility, viability, the presence of red blood cells and white blood cells. Based on the data obtained, the specialist makes a definite conclusion about the ability of sperm to fertilize. The most complete ejaculate happens mainly after abstinence from three to five days. This period is recommended for men.
Incompatibility between spouses
Some couples have an infertility factor, in which the body of a man and a woman produces specific proteins. They are detrimental to sperm and do not allow them to interact with the egg. This is the reason for the incompatibility of partners. In such cases, the study of male blood and sperm for antibodies is recommended.
Male reproductive system
Male reproductive organs are located both outside and inside the body. Semen and hormone testosterone make testicles. Sperm comes from the testicles into the spiral tubules of the epidermis, which preserves and nourishes the sperm as it matures. Then the matured sperm enters the sperm stream into the seminal vesicles and is stored there. This whole process takes about 72 days.
In the process of ejaculation, the following occurs: the secret of the seminal vesicles, mixing with the fluid from the prostate, forms the seminal fluid. The fundamental factor in the ability to bear children in men is the development of full-fledged and fairly mature sperm.
Diagnosis of the causes of infertility in men is carried out as the first stage for a variety of causes of infertility, even if infertility is determined in women. This allows you to correctly determine the course of treatment and avoid unnecessary time and financial losses.
Consider common causes of male infertility.
The following factors negatively affect the functioning of the male reproductive system: overwork, stressful situations, saunas, smoking, poor working conditions, alcohol and drugs. Rare sexual relations lead to stagnation in the reproductive system. Even a sedentary lifestyle adversely affects fertility. If you properly organize your lifestyle, it is possible to do without the use of drug therapy.
Нормальный сон, контролируемые физические нагрузки, соответствующий вес, коррекция сексуальной жизни, правильное и полноценное питание поднимают тонус репродуктивной системы.
Лечение мужского бесплодия народными средствами
Herbal decoctions, extracts from healing and medicinal plants, which are the richest source of vitamins, also provide invaluable help for treatment.
- A decoction of plantain seeds - one Art. spoonful of seeds pour a glass of water and boil for five minutes over low heat. Insist and strain. Infusion to drink two articles. spoon warm four times a day. Recommended when stationary sperm.
- Baths - 50 gr. plantain pour one liter of boiling water and insist forty minutes. Strain, pour the infusion into the bath. Therapeutic baths are taken every fifteen days.
- Syrup from dark pink and red rose petals. This flower is rich in vitamin E and perfectly stimulates ovarian function, improves male spermatogenesis. Oil is prepared from the petals, syrups, water.
- Mumiyo - take 0.2–0.3 grams orally with carrot or blueberry juice twice a day on an empty stomach to improve the quality of the seed. The course is from 25 to 28 days. You can mix the mummy with egg yolk to enhance sexual function.
- Avian Highlander - brew 1 tbsp. herbs with one liter of boiling water. Drink at any time instead of tea.
- Collecting herbs - we mix in fifty grams of flowers of chamomile, calendula, clover herbs and centaury, coltsfoot. Two tablespoons of the collection brew two cups of boiling water and leave for two hours. The decoction is taken six times a day before eating 1/3 cup. The course is from one to two months.
Currently, modern medicine has great potential for treating male infertility. With timely consultation with a specialist and correct therapy, the treatment gives a positive result.
According to the latest statistics, every fourth man is capable of conceiving a child after a long but fruitful treatment. The effectiveness in the treatment of male infertility is 15% higher than success in the treatment of female infertility.
If a man has sperm of poor quality, it is excreted in insufficient quantity or is completely absent, there are few viable sperm cells in it - it will be very difficult or impossible to fertilize an egg. A man with such symptoms is considered fruitless.
Male infertility is a violation of the reproductive function in men.
Bad sperm is a result of transferred, hidden or known inflammation, infections or chronic diseases. Therefore, it is very important to conduct regular clinical examination and prevention of diseases that can lead to such consequences.
On average in the world, about 20% of married couples cannot have children. Male infertility occurs as often as female. At the same time, there is an incompatibility of partners. You can find out more about the incompatibility of partners in our article here.
Men’s reproductive system in short
The male reproductive system should produce sperm for fertilization. A sperm cell is a male sex cell. In this cell are the genetic material of the father. Genetic information (genetic material) is concentrated in the sperm head. The tail of the spermatozoon (flagellum) is responsible for movement. The purpose of the sperm cell is fertilization of the egg.
Spermatozoa originate and develop in the testicles, in the seminiferous tubules. Maturation occurs in 64 days with normal testosterone production. Spermatozoa are stored and waiting in the wings for 30 days. If there is no ejaculation, they are destroyed and absorbed into the testicle.
In the testicles, spermatozoa are at rest. They begin to move only after ejaculation occurs. When ejaculating, the spermatozoa mix with the secret (prostatic juice). If a man has inflammation or other diseases, it may be difficult to make such a secret. Consequently, fertilizing a woman’s egg becomes much more difficult.
The most common causes of male infertility
Male infertility must be identified simultaneously with female infertility. That is, both partners must be examined. So you can save a lot of time, more accurately identify the causes of infertility and make an accurate diagnosis.
Here are the main and most common causes of infertility in men:
- Torsion of the testicles.
- Psychological causes.
- Infections and inflammations.
As you can see the causes of male infertility are many, and this is only the most frequent. Now all the reasons in more detail.
Varicocele is a disease in which varicose veins occur in the testicles. Due to the expansion of the veins, the amount of sperm produced decreases. Thus, the chances of successful conception are significantly reduced. The causes of varicocele can be too strong overheating of the scrotum and lack of oxygen in the testicles. The symptoms of varicocele are pain in the testicles and severe discomfort in the scrotum. Moreover, these unpleasant feelings and pain are aggravated at the time of sex or sports. When varicocele is very noticeable asymmetry. If you do not start treating this disease in time, the pain may increase and become permanent.
Torsion of the testicles
Twisting the testicles is not literally twisting them. With this disease, blood vessels are twisted. Another name - testicle inversion. Naturally, the movement of spermatozoa is severely limited, and the process of their reproduction is disturbed. Torsion of the testicles is a very common cause of male infertility. Tumors and pain, these are the main symptoms of such a disorder.
With such a violation, there is a delay in the development of the testicles. In cryptorchidism, the testicle does not descend into the scrotum from the abdominal cavity, therefore development is delayed. This is due to the fact that the temperature in the scrotum is too low compared to the abdominal cavity. Treat such a deviation with the help of hormonal drugs. In extreme cases, use a surgical method.
In this disease, men do not produce sex hormones in the right quantity. Due to the lack of such hormones in the body of a man, the quality of sperm suffers, hormonal disturbances are disturbed, and the genitals cannot develop properly. This disease affects about 1% of men. Hypogonadism treatment is hormone therapy. If drug treatment does not help, make an operation on prosthetics and plastics on the organs of the reproductive system.
Stress can cause male infertility. Strong emotional stress leads to a violation of sexual desire, a violation of erection, the production of male hormones. Nerves should be fine. This is an important condition for conception.
Infectious diseases can damage testicular epithelium. For this reason, the possibility of fertilization is sharply reduced. Therefore, it is very important to conduct an examination for infections. Infectious diseases may be present in latent form.
Special attention should be paid to sexually transmitted infections. Such diseases can be detected by passing tests. To do this, you need to contact a urologist, venereologist or andrologist.
Disorders in the endocrine system can lead to infertility. Spermatogenesis may be disrupted due to abnormalities in the sex glands. Improper functioning of the thyroid gland can also have a negative effect on sperm production. With endocrine disorders, hormonal imbalance occurs.
Less common causes
The cause of male infertility may be immunity. The so-called immunological male infertility is infertility, in which the male immune system produces antisperm antibodies. These bodies, while in the testicles, destroy the sperm, taking them for foreign bodies. The movement of sperm and their number is significantly reduced.
To detect the presence of such antibodies, a man must pass sperm for MAR analysis with a test. About this in more detail here.
What else can be the cause of infertility in men:
- Alcoholism. When alcoholism disrupts the liver, there is atrophy of the testes, a decrease in sexual activity.
- Inflammation of the prostate. If a man has an inflamed prostate or seminal vesicles, this is a serious cause of infertility.
- Physical injury in the groin area.
- Chemotherapy affects the ability to produce sperm.
In addition, there is also the so-called idiopathic infertility. With this type of infertility, doctors cannot establish the exact causes. All analyzes show normal, and there are no signs of disturbances in the reproductive organs. However, it’s impossible to conceive a child. More about this in our article here.
Tips for men
There are many causes of male infertility. We recommend that men take care of their health in advance. If you care about your body, you can avoid many of the problems associated with infertility.
For example, if overheated in a sauna (steam room) can seriously impair the function of sperm production. The temperature of the scrotum below normal body temperature is not accidental. At a body temperature of 36.6 degrees, the temperature of the scrotum should not exceed 33 degrees. These are normal conditions for the existence, reproduction and development of spermatozoa. Exceeding this temperature, the motility and the amount of spermatozoids suitable for fertilization are disturbed.
A man should not wear very warm clothes when it is warm outside. In this case, underwear should not be very tight and stinging.
A man must be in good physical shape if he wants to become a father. Regular exercise (not exhausting workouts) is also highly recommended. Among other things, it is very important to give up alcohol and smoking. Remember these are not empty words - these are tips that will allow the couple to find the happiness of being parents.
Diagnosis of diseases associated with male infertility begins with a simple survey. After, the doctor will prescribe a test, among which will be a semen analysis (spermogram). Spermogram must give up several times, usually 3 times is enough. So you can get the most accurate data. About how such an analysis can be found here.
Council Conduct examination with his wife in the same clinic. With a simultaneous examination of the pair it will be easier to understand the problems of infertility.
Nowadays, doctors have several ways to treat male infertility. Among them, drug and artificial insemination. Artificial insemination (IVF) - is used when the problem of infertility has not been resolved with drugs. In some cases, physicians may resort to surgery to restore sperm production.
The course of drug treatment includes a vitamin course, medications for the treatment of infertility, antibacterial drugs (antibiotics) and hormonal therapy. When undergoing such treatment, a man needs to switch to proper nutrition and give up bad habits.
With proper treatment and a healthy lifestyle, sperm quality improves significantly, so it is very important to take these recommendations very seriously.
If the drugs did not help the man to become fertile, IVF will definitely help him. In Vitro Fertilization helps to overcome infertility in 50% of cases. If a man does not have the right amount of sperm, it can be obtained surgically.
With IVF, sperm cells fertilize the egg independently in a special container. After that, the already fertilized egg is transferred to the uterus. The process of embryo implantation begins and the long-awaited pregnancy begins. You can find out more about the IVF procedure here.
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Currently, due to the intensive use of atomic energy, X-rays, radioactive substances, ionizing radiation occupies a special place among the most frequent causes of infertility. The fact is that the sex glands are most sensitive to their action. Irradiation not only leads to infertility, but also to congenital developmental abnormalities of the descendants due to the mutagenic effect on chromosomes.
The occurrence of mutation is influenced not only by the action of radioactive factors, but also by exposure to high temperature, ultraviolet rays and a number of chemicals. It is worth noting that positive airphones and free radicals also reduce the functionality of the male reproductive system.
An important role among the known causes of infertility in men belongs to the infectious factor. For example, such extremely undesirable diseases as sepsis, epidemic parotitis, abdominal and typhus, genital herpes, hepatitis, brucellosis, malaria, as well as those numerous infections that are often transmitted sexually, ultimately cause infertility. In infectious diseases, violations of spermatogenesis can provoke microbial toxins, organic liver damage, changes in the composition of the blood, and especially infectious hepatitis.
The number of infertile men is steadily increasing. IF has a direct impact on the growth in the number of persons with undertreated diseases that were sexually transmitted. And this, as you know, is a direct consequence of promiscuous sex relations, which are very common.
Recently, environmental problems have become particularly relevant. The accumulation in the environment around us of a huge number of chemicals harmful to people, an increase in the level of radiation, cause chronic intoxication of the organism, which worsens the state of spermatogenic cells of the testes. It does not exclude the possibility of testicular lesion under the influence of exhaust gases of automobile engines, industrial emissions.
Alcohol and tobacco abuse
Bad habits such as alcohol abuse and smoking greatly affect the fertility of men. Since the abuse of alcohol, including beer, in the semen increases the number of immobile and abnormal sperm. Even a single use of large amounts of alcohol for many days affects the quality of sperm. Smoking leads to various degenerative changes in the epitheliospermatogenic layer itself as a result of a vasoconstrictor and a direct toxic effect, which leads to testicular ischemia.
A variety of testicular injuries are a danger. Swelling of the scrotum caused by trauma to the scrotum or even testicular rupture entails a violation of the integrity of the blood-testis barrier. As a result, an autoimmune process develops, which entails the formation of antisperm antibodies, and sometimes a complete connective tissue degeneration of the testicle with the irreversible loss of its function.
It should be noted that the presence of adverse physical factors, as well as the impact of environmental and psychosocial causes has an increasingly destructive effect on the reproductive system of men and male fertility.
Reducing the risk of this problem can only healthy lifestyle, which is very popular throughout the world, and reducing the impact of those fundamental factors that we noted above.
The very first analysis, which will direct a man during the passage of this survey will be spermogram. Without it, it simply does not make sense to carry out further activities, because the quality and quantity of male sperm plays a leading role in the ability to conceive and is one of the most common causes of infertility in men. For the implementation of the conception of a child, a sufficient amount of sperm with a certain concentration of high-grade motile sperm is necessary. Multiple violations of spermatogenesis can lead to a decrease in fertility:
- oligospermia - insufficient sperm during ejaculation,
- azoospermia - the absence of sperm in the sperm,
- necrospermia - reducing the activity of sperm, in a sufficient number are in the semen,
- asthenozoospermia - an insufficient number of motile spermatozoa in the ejaculate,
- oligozoospermia - low sperm concentration in the ejaculate,
- teratozoospermia - increased concentration in the semen of abnormal sperm with pathologies,
- anejaculation - lack of normal ejaculation,
In addition to the disruption of sperm formation processes, violated secretory functions can also be the causes of male infertility, as a result of which even good quality sperm cannot be delivered to their destination. Violation of secretion contributes to abnormalities in the structure of the male genital organs, as well as specific male diseases and inflammatory processes.