Nowadays, there are many safe and reliable treatment methods to deal with infertility. Nonetheless, it is crucial first to diagnose this condition properly and only then discuss available options.
Male infertility diagnostics
A doctor will ask the patients some questions about their sexual habits before testing infertility. The specialist may make particular suggestions to increase the likelihood of a couple getting pregnant.
Testing for infertility may be expensive and involve procedures that cause discomfort. Moreover, sometimes it is impossible to find the reason causing infertility (unexplained infertility). In addition, there is no guarantee that the couple will be successful in getting pregnant even with all the testing and counselling.
Infertility evaluation in males
The primary aim of tests for male infertility is to assess the amount of healthy sperm produced and the effectiveness of sperm ejaculation. The doctor can perform a physical exam, which may involve inspecting the genitalia. In addition, the healthcare provider may suggest some of the following fertility tests:
- Semen analysis is a collection and examination of the patient’s semen sample. Sometimes, the urine may be analyzed for the presence of the sperm.
- Genetic testing helps determine if there is a genetic abnormality that causes infertility.
- Hormone testing is the collection and analysis of a patient’s blood sample to assess testosterone levels and the levels of other male hormones
- Imaging like a brain MRI, vasography (a test of the vas deference), scrotal or transrectal ultrasound sometimes may be helpful in the evaluation of male fertility.
- A testicular biopsy helps determine the abnormalities causing infertility. In addition, the doctor may suggest performing this procedure to collect the sperm for assisted reproductive techniques.
- Another specialty testing such as blood and sperm tests may be suggested. They help determine why the semen can’t fertilize an egg.
Male infertility treatment
The options for infertility treatment vary according to:
- The cause of infertility
- Age of both partners
- How long the couple tries to get pregnant
- The preferences of both partners
Still, now there is no possibility to correct some causes of infertility.
Treatment of male infertility may involve:
- Lifestyle improvement. Changes like reducing or avoiding harmful substances, quitting certain medications, exercising regularly, and improving timing and frequency of intercourse may increase pregnancy chances. Additionally, dealing with other factors that may otherwise impair fertility can be beneficial.
- Medications. Certain medications may enhance testicular function, such as sperm production and quality. It, in turn, improves sperm count and, therefore, increases the chances of getting pregnant.
- Surgery. In some cases, this procedure may help to treat sperm blockage and, as a result, restore fertility. In addition, the doctor can suggest surgery to repair a varicocele. Such a treatment may elevate the overall chances of getting pregnant.
- Sperm retrieval. The doctor usually recommends this procedure to obtain sperm when the patient has problems with ejaculation. Additionally, it is helpful if there is no sperm present in the person’s ejaculated fluid. Moreover, sperm retrieval may be used in planned assisted reproductive techniques when the sperm counts are low or have other abnormalities. To clarify, assisted reproductive technology is an infertility treatment method that involves the handling of sperm and egg.