Male Infertility Treatment
Symptoms, Causes & Treatments in Kingston, PA
One third of all infertility problems are caused by the male partner. Though fertility can be seen as a woman’s issue, it’s vital that both men and women get tested if a couple is struggling to conceive. If the male partner is the source of these issues, then this is known as a case of male infertility. Male infertility does not mean that the man is unable to impregnate his female partner, it simply means that he has a decreased likelihood of doing so.
Contact Riverview Urologic Associates located in Kingston, PA by calling (570) 288-3601 for more information on male infertility.
Common Causes of Male Infertility
Conception is a lengthy process that requires a lot of unique events to occur in perfect order at exactly the right time. This leaves room for lots of potential problems along the way.
Problems with the Sperm
Typically, if a man is having fertility issues it can be linked back to how healthy his sperm are. Examples of abnormalities in sperm include:
- Sperm that is oddly shaped
- Sperm that is produced in small quantities
- Sperm that is unable to develop fully
- Slow sperm, or sperm that does not travel in the correct direction
- An inability to produce any sperm at all
There are several possible sources to abnormal or defective sperm. Some medications used to treat common illnesses like high blood pressure, depression, infections, arthritis, digestive diseases, or cancer can alter the sperm’s functionality.
Low hormone levels are another potential cause of male infertility since a lack of crucial male hormones can lead to low sperm count or poor sperm growth.
There have also been cases wherein the antibodies in a man’s body mistakenly attack the sperm. It is not clear as to what causes the antibodies to perceive the sperm as a threat, but immunological infertility is typically seen in those recovering from a surgery, injury, or type of infection.
What If the Sperm are Healthy?
Even with great sperm, some men can still experience problems in conceiving a child such as having a blockage within the reproductive tract that may have been caused by a congenital or acquired defect.
Swollen veins in the scrotum called varicoceles are also thought to worsen a man’s fertility functions. These varicoceles supply the scrotum with excess blood, which overheats the scrotum and kills many of the sperm living inside.
Men who suffer from retrograde ejaculation are unable to get their sperm to the woman’s egg because instead of exiting through the urethra, the sperm is directed back into the man’s bladder. Retrograde ejaculation is caused by issues of the nervous system and is characterized by a “dry” ejaculation.
A man can be infertile for a number of other reasons, including:
- STDs – If chlamydia and gonorrhea are left untreated, they can cause infertility in men.
- Hormonal Imbalances – Hormonal imbalances in the pituitary and thyroid glands can cause infertility. Luckily, hormonal imbalances that cause infertility can be treated with medication.
- Blockages – It is possible for men to be born with blockages in the testicles. The blockages can prevent sperm from getting into the semen.
- Lifestyle or Environmental Factors – Excessive exercise, drug use and other factors can affect fertility.
Diagnosing Male Infertility
Where the male is suspected of being infertile, physicians have several tests and procedures to confirm a diagnosis. These include:
A semen analysis to provide information about the quantity and quality of both the semen and the sperm it contains. Semen collection is generally done on two different days as samples from the same man can be different at different times.
Blood work may be ordered to check hormone levels of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and testosterone (T).
If the semen analysis test results aren’t normal, additional tests may be ordered by your physician.
Treatment Options in Kingston, PA
In order to appropriately treat a case of male fertility, your specialist from Riverview Urologic Associates will first need to diagnose the source of the problem.
This process will typically begin by checking the patient’s sperm to see if it indeed healthy or not. If the exact cause is still unclear after this initial investigation then further tests will need to be conducted to determine what is preventing the sperm from reaching or properly fertilizing the partner’s egg.
Again, based on the particular source of the man’s fertility issues, recommended treatment will vary. Some male infertility cases will require surgery to treat, while others will not. In order to discover the best solution for yourself and your partner, you will both need to have a thorough discussion with your specialist from our office.