Causes of Infertility In Men

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.

drug use.

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.

Ejaculation disorders

Some men experience ejaculation problems that can make it difficult for them to release semen during sex (ejaculate).

Unexplained infertility

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

IUI

IVF

ICSI

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

D’Ebi

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Infertility Research: Male Factor

The first sign that a couple may be having difficulty conceiving is a few months after trying. Often the women immediately thinks its her fault, and most investigations begins with her.

There is very little by way of research into Male related infertility issues. But not anymore, science and medical experts are now recognizing the Male factor in infertility leading to more research in this area.

Recent research carried out by scientists at Newcastle University has revealed possible reason for Male Infertility may be related to a gene producing hormones which is necessary for the production of fully functioning sperm.

A gene identifies as RBMXL2 similar to the infertile gene found in the Y chromosomes may be responsible for infertility in men. They found that RBMXL2 is essential to making sperm.

The scientist found that deleting the RBMXL2 gene from chromosome 11 blocked sperm production and this paves the way for further exciting research in this area. This was a 10 year study which involved scientist from USA, And Europe.

Understanding how RBMXL2 enables sperm to be made gives experts a clue as to how the similar infertility genes on the Y chromosome work.

Research found that the block occurred while the cells were dividing in the testicles to make sperm, under the process of meiosis.

This block meant that none of the cells developed into sperm cells were able to swim and fertilise eggs.

Much more needs to be done to investigate the causes of male factor infertility, that’s why Fertility Network welcomes this research from Newcastle University which, although in the very early stages, offers hope for a greater understanding of male fertility in the future.

This is great new for couples as more gets done, better treatment will be developed towards treating Male related infertility.

So something to get excited about as Male related infertility causes are investigated. Keeping hope alive.

Your Partner In Hope

D’Ebi

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Research on Male Infertility lagging behind.

I recalled thinking how few men were present during my many trips to a fertility clinics.

Understandably it’s the woman who has to take the shots of injection to stimulate her ovaries.

Even in cases where the problem is male related, yet woman still has to be stimulated to produce eggs.

The male factor regarding infertility is not often talked about. In my previous post i talked about how it is automatically assumed to be a woman’s issue.

The following article talks about tackling the stigma surrounding Male Infertility.

Click on the link to assess it.

https://www.raconteur.net/healthcare/tackling-stigma-around-male-infertility

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Infertility: A Male and Female Issue.

The first sign that something is wrong soon after a couple decides to have a baby, is when the woman fails to fall pregnant after a few months of trying. Some couples remain hopeful and think nothing about infertility.

I had never thought of the word infertility before I was faced with it. Our inability to become pregnant led to the first of many consultations and test.

The test were performed on both of us and we felt confident about our reproductive abilities. I guess no one wants to think their body is in capable of performing the role it was intended to.

We were relieved to know that neither of us had any reason to stop us from getting pregnant. The results of our test was no comfort when we to fall pregnant.

The thought that I am the reason for our demise never left me and as I spoke to other women facing similar trials I came to learn that women view themselves as the main Cause.

Many ethnicities view infertility as a woman’s sole responsibility and so many marriages have broken down from interference by the man’s family. “They just can’t understand why their son remains married to a infertile woman”.

I witness first hand as a friend struggled to convince her husband to undergo some test to determine the cause of their problems.

In the end, their marriage broke up because he strongly refused to undergo any form of test, claiming he had fathered a child before, so he can’t possibly be impotent.

There lies the perception, that infertility is a female issue and this stems from age old misconceptions that it is a woman’s duty to produce an heir for her husband/Partner. Therefore she’s ultimately to blame for failing to be pregnant.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in its 2014-2016 report finds that amongst other issues, male infertility is the most common reason why British couples seek IVF treatment.

No man wants to believe they are “shooting blank”. And it is a common male locker room banter to hear men claiming they might have secretly fathered a child unknown to him.

On the country, most women I know blame themselves even before any test results. Often excusing their partners as innocent party to this unfortunate event thrust upon them.

Women are their most fierce critics, blaming themselves for putting their career first, being too choosy, as a result their biologists clocked has timed out.

New research such as those conducted by

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston shows that sperm quality markedly decline with age. This make it harder for men to sire children well into old age as well as the possibilities of birth defect if they father kids later in life.

The solution:

I personally feel the solution or part of the way forward is for men to acknowledge that there is a possibility they might have the problem and be willing to undergo some test.

Men should not assume that because they fathered a child before, that rules them out from having any infertility problems in the future.

Women should also not automatically assume the blame without a clear diagnoses, even then the man should also get tested. They should stop denigrating and being self critical.

Given the heartbreak, invasion of one’s life and mental upheaval one faces, it is important for couples to be supportive of each other regardless of who has the issue. Infertility should not be seen as an arena dedicated solely to women, but rather a shared burden.

Society has a duty to educate everyone that It can be both a male and female issue. And dispel this wrong thinking when it comes to infertility.

Related Post:

A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?Infertility: A lonely JourneyOthers View Point