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Male Infertility

Male infertility is a condition where a man )assigned male at birth) has a lower chance of impregnating a person assigned female at birth (AFAB) due to various health issues. 

Causes of Male Infertility

Male infertility is dependent on various factors. You should be able to:

·      Produce healthy sperm capable of fertilizing the egg.

·      Problems with either of these may indicate infertility.

·      Have an erection and ejaculate to ensure the sperm reaches the egg.

The following are some of the leading reasons for male infertility.

1.  Sperm problems like:

·      Low sperm counts

·      Malformed sperm

·      Absence of sperm in the semen

·      Poor sperm motility

2.  Infections

·      Sexually transmitted infections like HIV and gonorrhea

·      Orchitis

·      Epididymitis

3.  Medical conditions

·      Diabetes

·      Cystic fibrosis

·      Autoimmune disease

4.  Structural problems

·      Scar tissue from surgery

·      Swollen veins in the scrotum

5.  Lifestyle Choices

·      Smoking

·      Alcohol consumption

·      Drug use 

·      Obesity

6.  Environmental causes

·      Heavy metal exposure

·      Extended exposure to industrial chemicals

·      Exposure to radiation

Symptoms of Male Infertility

The primary symptom of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. Emotional and psychological symptoms include:

·      Depression

·      Grief

·      Failure

Risk Factors for Male Infertility

Several factors can increase a man’s risk of infertility. These include:

1.  Age: Men over 40 have a higher risk of infertility.

2.  Smoking: Smoking can reduce sperm production and function.

3.  Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can affect sperm production and function.

4.  Drug Use: Drug use can negatively impact sperm production and function.

5.  Exposure to radiation and toxins: Exposure to toxins such as lead and pesticides can affect sperm production and function.

Other risk factors include:

·      Having a body mass index greater than 25.

·      Spending a lot of time in heat raises the temperature of your testicles.

·      Having suffered injuries to the testicles.

·      Have a history of undescended testicles.

·      Having a previous vasectomy or significant abdominal or pelvic surgery.

·      Having a blood-related or being born with a reproductive condition

Diagnosis of Male Infertility

Diagnosis of male infertility involves the following:

·      Semen analysis: Evaluates sperms and semen quality, including volume, motility, and morphology, typically done with at least 2 samples.

·      Blood tests: Check hormone levels and identify other potential issues.

·      Other tests: Imaging like ultrasound examines testicles, blood vessels, and scrotal structures.

·      Testicular biopsy: If semen analysis reveals low or no sperm, a biopsy may be done to examine testicular tissue under a microscope.

Treatment of Male Infertility

The treatment depends on the cause of your infertility. Some of the common treatments include:

1.  Medications: Medications can be used to treat infections, hormonal imbalances, and erectile dysfunction.

2.  Surgery: Surgery to address issues that prevent sperm from being produced, developed, or ejaculated.

3.  Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART): ART helps couples conceive. This includes procedures like:

·      In vitro fertilization (IVF)

·      Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

·      Artificial insemination

Male Infertility Prevention

Male infertility is not always preventable. However, you can try to avoid some common causes of male infertility. 

·      Do not smoke.

·      Avoid unlawful drugs.

·      Limit or abstain from alcohol.

·      Maintain a healthy body weight.

·      Avoid substances that cause extended heat in the testicles.

·      Don’t undergo a vasectomy.

·      Avoid pesticides, heavy metals, and other poisons.

·      Reduce stress