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Some people still think of fertility as a "woman's problem," up to half of all cases of infertility involve problems with the male partner. Infertility in a man may be the sole reason that a couple can't conceive, or it may simply add to the difficulties caused by infertility in his partner.
So it's crucial that men get tested for fertility as well as women. It's also important that men do it early. Though some guys may want to put off being tested out of embarrassment, early testing can spare their partners a great deal of unnecessary discomfort and expense. It's also a good way to quickly narrow down potential problems.
Up to half of all cases of infertility involve the male partner. Tests to determine causes of male infertility include semen analysis that evaluates sperm count, the quality of sperm, and sperm movement. Other reasons for male infertility range from physical problems that prevent sperm being ejaculated normally in semen, sexually transmitted diseases or other infections, autoimmune problems, and the use of alcohol and drugs.
To diagnose the male infertility there are various tests:
- Semen Analysis
- Sperm Penetration Tests
- Antisperm Antibody Test
What a Semen Analysis Can Detect:
Azoospermia - No sperm are produced, or the sperms aren't appearing in the semen.
Oligiospermia - Few sperms are produced.
Problems with sperm motility - If the sperms aren't moving normally, they are less likely to be capable of fertilizing an egg.
Problems with sperm morphology - Problems with the form and structure -- or morphology -- of the sperm may cause infertility.
Reasons for Male Infertility:
There are a wide number of reasons for male infertility. Some are caused by physical problems that prevent the sperm from being ejaculated normally in semen. Others affect the quality and production of the sperm itself.
Common causes of male infertility:
The “male factor” contributes to infertility around half the time, and about one third of the time, it's the main cause of infertility. Most often, the problem lies in the process of either making or moving the sperm.
Any of the following can cause a man to have a low sperm count or abnormal sperm:
- Varicocele - an abnormal collection of bulging veins above the testicle; they’re the most common cause of correctable male infertility, accounting for 38% of cases
- Infections in the testicle (orchitis), the prostate (prostatitis), or elsewhere in the body that causes a fever
- Chemotherapy treatment for cancer
- Medicines such as anabolic steroids or anti-seizure medicines
- Genetic abnormalities
- Hormone problems