Male Infertility Causes

Male infertility is related primarily to

sperm production and viability or obstruction in the sperm transport system. Infertile couples should be educated about the causes of male infertility because knowledge is power. The more you know about your health and specific situation, the more you will be able to take your health into your own hands and find solutions that work for you as a family.

Male infertility causes, in some families, shame, embarrassment, and avoidance. Don't allow your emotions to rob you of the future family you desire. Here is where you begin to educate yourself.

Irregularity in sperm has two components--the amount of sperm ejaculated and the viability of the sperm. Semen analysis will give you and your physician important information. There is no shame in having sperm issues. And, the good news is, it only takes one to make a baby. Varicoceles--usually developing on the left side--are dilated veins that accumulate around the testicles. While not well understood, it is thought that this condition raises the temperature around the testicles inhibiting sperm production. Not all men with varicoceles are infertile.

Obstruction is another one of the male infertility causes. The network of ducts that carry sperm can sometimes be blocked. Of course vasectomy is a surgery that intentionally blocks sperm transport as a means of birth control and can be reversed. Blockage can also be present at birth; or scarring from past surgeries or infections can cause blockage.

Genetic or congenital abnormalities account for a small percentage of infertility in men. Chromosomal anomalies as well as malformations in the male reproductive system account for a small segment of the male infertile population. There are also some rare genetic disorders that lead to educate yourself. These are not worth worrying about because they are so rare. Your doctor will discuss these conditions with you if test results warrant.

In some infertile males antibodies are present. These antobodies mistake sperm for foreign intruders. Laboratory studies can usually determine the presence of antibodies, which reside on the sperm's head and prevent the sperm from entering the egg for fertilization. This condition is found primarily in men who have had vasectomy reversal surgery.

Dr. Christine Strong, NMD