All about Infertility in a Man
Infertility is a result of female conditions, while the rest are caused by either sperm disorders or unidentified factors. According to the Mayo Clinic, USA:
About 20% of cases of infertility are due to a problem in the man.
About 40% to 50% of cases of infertility are due to a problem in the woman.
About 30% to 40% of cases of infertility are due to problems in both the man and the woman.
Causes for Infertility in a Man
Infertility due to Sperm disorders are as follows:
Oligospermia: Sperm concentration should be 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. If the count is under 10 million there is a low sperm concentration. This condition is termed as Oligospermia.
Azoospermia: Fertility could not be achieved if there is no sperm in the semen. Azoospermia is a condition where there are no sperms in the semen.
Asthenospermia: If the sperms have weak motility then it could affect in conception.
Teratozoospermia/ Teratospermia (Abnormal shape of sperms): Sperm must be the right shape and able to travel rapidly and accurately towards the egg. If the sperm's structure and movement are wrong it is less likely to be able to reach the egg and fertilize it.
Causes of Abnormal Semen:
Undescended testicle: When one or both the testicles fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum during fetal development. Sperm production is affected because the testicle is not in the scrotum and is at a higher temperature. Healthy sperm need to exist in a slightly lower than body temperature. That is why they are in the scrotum, and not inside the body.
Ejaculation disorders: Men with retrograde ejaculation, ejaculate semen into the bladder. If the ejaculatory ducts are blocked or obstructed the man may have a problem ejaculating appropriately.
Varicocele: A Varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles known as a scrotum. Varicocele is a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility.
Overheating of the Testis: Sitting in hot tubs frequently, very hot water baths or working in an extremely hot environment can raise the temperature of the testicles and cause abnormal semen. Tight clothing too could have the same effect.
Hypogonadism: Male Hypogonadism is also known as testosterone deficiency. It is a failure of the testes to produce the male sex hormone testosterone, sperm, or both. This condition can be due to a testicular disorder or the result of a disease process involving the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
Hypospadias: Generally the urethral opening is at the tip of the penis, but in Hypospadias the urethral opening is on the underside of the penis. This abnormality is usually surgically corrected when the male is a baby. If it is not the sperm may find it harder to get to the female's cervix.
Genetic abnormality: Normally a man should have an X and Y chromosome. In Klinefelter's syndrome the male has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome, this could lead to an abnormal development of the testicles, low testosterone, and a low sperm count and sometimes there could be Azoospermia.
Mumps: Mumps is a viral infection of the parotid glands which generally occurs in children. If it occurs after puberty inflammation of the testicles it may affect sperm production.
Cystic fibrosis: Males suffering from cystic fibrosis of organs such as the liver, lungs, pancreas and intestines, commonly have a missing or obstructed vas deferens. Vas deferens is a tube connecting the testes to the urethra and it carries sperms from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct and the urethra.
Radiotherapy: Radiation therapy can impair sperm production.
Autoimmune Conditions: Diseases like Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, Cushing’s syndrome and Anaemia are linked to low sperm counts.
Medications which can cause Oligospermia:
Anabolic steroids: Anabolic steroids are generally consumed by bodybuilders and athletes to increase performance. Long term use can seriously reduce sperm count and mobility.
Chemotherapy: Some medicines given during chemotherapy may significantly reduce sperm count.
Opioid Group of Drugs: Consumption of marijuana and cocaine can lower a man's sperm count.
Age: A 50-year-old man is usually less fertile than a man in his 20s. Male fertility progressively drops after the age of 40.
Smoking: Smoking significantly increases the risk of infertility in both men and women.
Alcohol consumption: Moderate alcohol consumption has not been shown to lower fertility in most men, but is thought to lower fertility in men who already have a low sperm count.
Being obese or overweight: An overweight man has a higher risk of having abnormal sperm.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s): Aids and HIV are known to cause infertility in both men and women.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s): Chlamydia can damage the fallopian tubes, as well as making the man's scrotum become inflamed.
Bacterial Infections: Tuberculosis is caused due to mycobacterium tuberculae. It affects many organs of the body including the testis. If a male suffers from tuberculosis of the testis it could cause Azoospermia.
Chemical Exposures: Occupations or Housing which are in close proximity to chemical factories have been linked to fertility problems in both men and women.
Mental stress - If at least one partner is stressed it is possible that the frequency of sexual intercourse is less, resulting in a lower chance of conception.
Infertility tests for men
Detailed Case Examination: A detailed case history is taken by the doctor regarding a man’s medical history, sexual habits and medications if any.
Blood Test: The most basic blood test includes a complete blood count; urine routine; blood sugar test; thyroid test and hormonal assays.
Semen Analysis: Semen is analyzed in a laboratory for sperm concentration, motility, color, quality, infections and whether any blood is present.
Ultrasound test: Ultrasound test helps to determine whether there is any ejaculatory duct obstruction, retrograde ejaculation, or other abnormality.
Chlamydia test: If a man is found to have Chlamydia, which can affect fertility, he has to get treated immediately because Chlamydia infection is known to cause inflammation of the scrotum which can cause low sperm count.
Healing with Homoeopathy
Most of the patients undergo Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) for infertility. These techniques have their own side-effects and can be painful too.
Homeopathy offers an effective, safe, and painless alternative to more invasive fertility treatments.
Homoeopathy is a holistic medicine and treats the patient as well as the pathology. Homeopathy looks at the whole person and considers the cause of conception difficulties and treats the cause by removing the blocks to conception and leading the way to a healthy, natural pregnancy.
Homeopathy helps to prevent recurrence of the disease.
Stress in males can be very effectively treated with homoeopathy.
Homoeopathy treats not only all physical complaints, but also targets the mind and gently restores mind-body equilibrium - thus it treats the patient as a whole.
Improvement in sperm count through homeopathic therapy is comparable to the improvement achieved by conventional therapy, hence homeopathic treatment may be considered as a useful alternative to conventional treatment of subfertile men without causing any side-effects.
Erectile dysfunction is treated successfully with homoeopathy.
Lifestyle changes are of great help to improve the sperm quality. So alcohol consumption and smoking should be stopped for improvement.
Homoeopathy could also help in treating thyroid disorders and diabetes.