I have previously written male infertility.
But I feel the need to revisit this topic again purely to educate my fellow African family.
Often some cultures attributes failure to conceive sorely to women.
It is not uncommon to blame the woman after a couples have been trying for years.
Often the men refuse to be tested claiming they are fine and have fathered children outside the home.
Men are proud and often ashamed to subject themselves to test as it is seen as not being macho.
A lot of men equate fertility with virility and sexual potency and it’s unfortunate as marriages and relations have broken up due to the refusal of the men to get tested.
Men refuse to seek help choosing to remain mum, even in cases where they know the fault is theirs.
They remain quiet for fear of being shamed by their families and peers and seen as less of a man.
This is unfortunate because the man is the only factor in about 8% of cases where infertility is suspected.
Common Causes of Infertility in Men.
Abnormal sperm: The sperm may have an unusual shape, making it harder to move and fertilize an egg.
Either problem with the testicles and in such cases this could be genetic or exposure to environmental factors or toxins.
Other causes are as a result of obesity and smoking.
Certain types of medicines can sometimes cause infertility problem:
The following can cause infertility in men:
• sulfasalazine – an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis; sulfasalazine can decrease the number of sperm,
• anabolic steroids – are often used to build muscle and improve athletic performance; long-term use can reduce sperm count and sperm mobility
•chemotherapy – can sometimes severely reduce sperm production
• herbal remedies – such as root extracts of the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii, can affect the production of sperm or reduce the size of your testicles
Other Illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can also affect semen quality.
excessive alcohol in take, excessive exposure to high heat which can increase the temperature of the testicle leading to problems with sperm production. and tight clothing
If you are trying to get pregnant with your partner it is advisable to avoid or limit your use of hot bath and sauna.
Some men experience ejaculation problems that can make it difficult for them to release semen during sex (ejaculate).
In the UK, unexplained infertility accounts for around 25% of cases of infertility. This is where no cause can be identified in either the woman or man.
Infertility tests for men
The doctor will ask the man about his medical history, medications, and sexual habits and carry out a physical examination. All the needed checks will be carried out to determine the cause of the infertility
• Semen analysis: A sample may be taken to test for sperm
• Blood test: The lab will test for levels of testosterone and other hormones.
• Ultrasound: This may reveal issues such as ejaculatory duct obstruction or retrograde ejaculation.
•Chlamydia test: Chlamydia can affect fertility, but antibiotics can treat it.
Fertility treatments for men
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the infertility.
•For premature ejaculation: Medication may help improve fertility.
• Varicocele: Surgically removing a varicose vein in the scrotum may help.
• Blockage of the ejaculatory duct: Sperm can be extracted directly from the testicles and injected into an egg in the laboratory.
Both the man and his partner may have to undergo assisted reproduction such as
Sperm or egg donation
It is recommended that couples should seek help after 6 months of trying if the woman is over 40, and after a year if the woman is under 40 years of age.
So ditch the myth about fertility being a female only problem as tackle it together as a couple.
Your Partner in Hope
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