Male infertility occurs when a man is unable to start a pregnancy with his female partner 1. The majority of couples—nearly one in seven—are infertile, meaning they haven't been successful in becoming pregnant despite engaging in frequent, unprotected sexual activity for a year or more. Male infertility may play a partial or whole role in up to half of these couples 2.
What Are The Causes Of Male Infertility?
Low sperm production, poor sperm function, or obstructions that limit sperm delivery can all contribute to male infertility. Male infertility may be brought on by disorders, injuries, chronic health issues, lifestyle choices, and other circumstances 2.
Issues with sperms can be caused by your genetic traits. Lifestyle choices can have an influence on the sperm count. Smoking, consuming alcohol, and using certain drugs can all reduce sperm count. Long-term illness such as renal failure, childhood illnesses such as mumps (a viral infection caused by the mumps virus that primarily affects the salivary glands near your ears), and chromosomal or hormone disorders are also possible reasons for low sperm counts 1.
Other medical causes include:
- Varicocele – a swelling of the veins of the scrotum, infections and inflammations
- Retrograde ejaculation – when the semen goes into the bladder instead of the penis
- Immunologic Infertility – where the body’s own antibodies attack the sperm
- Tumors and cancers – Cancer and cancer treatments both affect the male reproductive organs.
- Undescended testicles – a condition where one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, to the scrotum.
- Obstruction – the tubes through which sperm travel can become blocked due to various factors .
- Hormone imbalance – abnormal hormone levels can cause poor sperm growth and low sperm count
- Medications – Certain medications can impair sperm production
- Chromosomal defects – Some inherited disorders can cause infertility due to underdeveloped male reproductive organs
- Prior surgeries – like vasectomy, prostate surgeries, scrotal surgeries etc. 1 2
How Do Surgeries Affect Male Fertility?
Certain procedures, such as vasectomy, scrotal or testicular surgery, prostate surgery, and big abdominal surgeries for testicular and rectal malignancies, may prevent you from having sperm in your ejaculate leading to male infertility 2.
Vasectomy And Vasectomy Reversal
Vasectomy is a quick surgery done to prevent pregnancy. This procedure blocks the sperm from getting into the semen 3. Surgery to reverse a vasectomy is known as vasectomy reversal. A vasectomy reversal may be chosen to alleviate persistent testicular discomfort following a vasectomy or for a variety of other reasons, such as child loss, a change of heart or remarriage. There are some factors that affect the success rate of a reversal surgery. This includes: time since a vasectomy, the age of the partner, the expertise and training of the surgeon, and if you had reproductive problems prior to your vasectomy.
Almost all vasectomies are reversible. However, this does not ensure that trying to conceive would be successful. Even if it has been several years since the first vasectomy, it is still possible to reverse it; however, the longer it has been, the less likely it is to succeed 4.
It would be a wise choice to opt for sperm cryopreservation in the event that your vasectomy reversal is unsuccessful. You may still be able to father children with assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilisation, if you are unable to do so through sexual intercourse 4. This is where LifeCell’s SpermVault, India’s first inexpensive, long-term sperm cryopreservation service can help you!
Other Surgeries That Cause Male Infertility
Surgeries for testicular cancer like orchiectomy (where one or both testicles are surgically removed) and prostate cancer like prostatectomy (where all or a part of prostate gland is removed) can render men infertile. 5 6 Abdominal surgeries like inguinal hernia (a condition where soft tissue protrudes where the abdominal muscles are weak) surgery can lead to male infertility due to azoospermia (no sperms in semen) and dry orgasm (no ejaculate). The nerves that lie on each side of the prostate and contribute to erections may be injured during abdominal surgery for the prostate, which might lead to retrograde ejaculation 7.
Male infertility may occur due to certain surgical procedures. Your future ability to become a parent may be affected by this. Prior to treatment, sperm freezing increases the likelihood that you will be able to have children in the future, should you choose to. Until you decide to utilise the sperm, it is frozen and kept in a storage facility 8. Now you can cryopreserve your sperm with LifeCell’s SpermVault for up to 10 years. It offers convenient plans for your healthy sperm that will help you achieve your future fertility goals!