What is Male Infertility?
When a couple fails to achieve pregnancy after about 1 year of regular, unprotected intercourse, male infertility may be the reason. About half of the infertility problems in the United States are attributed to the male.
Causes of Male Infertility
Some of the factors that cause male infertility include:
Signs & Symptoms of Male Infertility
Male infertility occurs when the man's partner does not conceive after one year of attempting to become pregnant.
The most conclusive test for male infertility is semen analysis. Other tests include gonadotropin assay to determine the integrity of the pituitary gonadal axis; serum testosterone evaluation to determine end-organ response to luteinizing hormone(LH); urine 17-ketosteroid levels to measure testicular function; and testicular biopsy to clarify unexplained oligospermia and azoospermia. Vasography and seminal vesiculography may also help.
Infertility resulting from anatomic dysfunction or infection requires correction of the underlying problem. A varicocele requires surgical repair or removal. Patients with sexual dysfunction need education, counseling, or special therapy. Decreased follicle-stimulating hormone may respond to vitamin B therapy. Decreased LH levels may respond to chorionic gonadotropin. Normal or elevated LH requires low dosages of testosterone. Low testosterone levels, decreased semen motility, and volume disturbances may respond to chorionic gonadotropin.
Patients with oligospermia who have a normal history and physical examination, normal hormonal assays, and no Signs of systemic disease require emotional support and counseling, adequate nutrition, multivitamins, and selective therapeutic agents, such as clomiphene, chorionic gonadotropin, and low doses of testosterone. Alternatives to such treatment are adoption and artificial insemination.
Some common cases of male infertility may be avoided by doing the following:
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