In life, we frequently have to make decisions that may or may not influence our future consequences! We cannot be assured of every decision we make. But when it comes to fertility preservation, one can be a little more relaxed. You're probably wondering how. It's easy, and we're here to help.

When an individual opts for surgery to treat an underlying ailment that may result in infertility, it does not always mean that they have to give up on their dream of "having a baby." This blog will discuss the 3 surgical treatments that can cause male infertility. And we will be addressing how, even after undergoing these surgeries, one can still have children.

What Is Male Infertility?

Male infertility impacts an individual's ability to get his fertile female partner pregnant even after one year of unprotected sex1.

According to WHO data, about 186 million people worldwide suffer from infertility, with 48 million of them being couples2. Approximately 40% of couples in India struggle to conceive due to male infertility3.

Male infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalance, sperm production issues, sperm concentration (number of sperm in each mL of semen), motility, and morphology4. It can also be caused by medical problems such as varicocele (swelling of veins around the testis) and certain infections that induce sperm blockages4

Problems in ejaculation, antibodies attacking sperm, and defects or blockages found in tubes carrying sperm/semen could also lead to infertility in males4.

Other causes of infertility include4-

  • Genetic diseases (like Klinefelter's syndrome) that affect the growth of reproductive organs
  • Difficulty during sexual intercourse (erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation)
  • Celiac disease, a condition wherein an individual can't digest gluten (a protein found in wheat)
  • Certain medications that interfere with testosterone (male hormone)
  • Using steroids for extended periods
  • Cancer treatments or chemotherapy

So far we’ve discussed male infertility and factors that can lead towards it. Now let us introduce you to 3 surgical treatments that can cause male infertility.

1. Vasectomy 

It is a surgical procedure in which the sperm supply from the semen  is removed (the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm). In other words, a person undergoing  vasectomy surgery can still ejaculate, but their semen will not contain sperm5.

A vasectomy is a long-term method of sterilization. However, depending on the extent of surgery, it can be reversed if necessary. Therefore, it’ll be correct to say that undergoing this surgical treatment can cause male infertility5.

2. Orchiectomy

The term "orchiectomy" refers to the removal of the testicles (or testis)6. The testes are the egg-shaped glands found underneath the penis (male sex organ) that secrete sperm and male hormones7

Orchiectomy is a surgery that is usually done to get rid of spreading or advanced testicular cancer. When this surgery is done on only one testicle, orchiectomy doesn’t affect fertility. But when testicular cancer treatment necessitates the removal of both testes then this surgical treatment can cause male infertility8.  

The removal of testes may have an impact on an individual's ability to become a father. As a result, it is usually recommended that the patient explore all fertility options, such as sperm banking or opting for LifeCell's SpermVault, before undergoing such surgeries8.

3. Prostatectomy

Prostatectomy is the surgical procedure to remove the prostate. In males, the prostate is a gland situated right below the urinary bladder. It produces seminal fluid, which nourishes the sperm and aids with motility (getting out of the penis while ejaculating)9,10

The prostate is removed during a prostatectomy. As a result, the patient fails to ejaculate and release sperm after surgery, leading to infertility10. Similarly, therapies for rectal and urinary bladder cancer may occasionally require surgical treatments that can cause male infertility11.

Conclusion

Infertility affects millions of men, yet in most situations, it is curable12. With the correct diagnosis, successful treatment for an underlying infertility is achievable. If you (or your spouse) are about to have surgery that could impact your fertility, consulting a doctor and discussing every post-surgery outcome is highly advised. In many cases, the alternative to preserve the  sperm works best. Which could be easily done with the help of SpermVault. LifeCell’s SpermVault is an efficient way to get your sperm cryopreserved!

The doctor may advise you to undergo a sperm analysis test. However, you can take such a test at home. Yes, it's now possible! with LifeCell's SpermScore at-home self-collection test kit. This test examines 11 sperm parameters and 14 sperm-health conditions which may aid you in assessing your reproductive health while giving guidance on post-surgery journey. 

So why wait? When you can take care of your reproductive goals with just one click!

References