Male infertility: Why are there more and more cases?

Did you know that exposure to pollution or lifestyle can affect semen quality?

In general, infertility problems have always been associated with women, but nowadays, this is far from the truth. In recent years, and partly due to the factors we have just mentioned, male infertility cases treated at Fertty now account for 40%, the same percentage as in the case of women, while in the remaining 20% we find problems in both partners.

Today we will talk about the main fertility problems affecting men and what are the main options for the couple to achieve pregnancy.

In the case of men, how can we know if they have an infertility problem?

When we suspect that the male factor of the couple may have a problem that is the cause of their inability to achieve pregnancy, we must analyse a semen sample and perform what we call a “seminogram”. From this sample we can evaluate aspects such as semen density, volume and quantity, mobility and morphology of the spermatozoa, which will give us the necessary indicators to find the problem.

It is very important that, when the couple have been having unprotected sex for 12 months and are unable to get pregnant, they visit a specialised clinic to analyse and diagnose the problem. If, in addition, the couple is over 35 years old, we recommend that this visit takes place after 6 months.

What are the most common causes of male infertility?

Unlike what happens in the case of women, age is not such a conditioning factor in men. It is true that, after a certain age, testosterone levels and semen volume begin to drop, and the probability of finding sperm with abnormalities increases, but they can fertilise the egg until much later in life.

In general, the factors that most affect male fertility are related to the endocrine system, inflammatory diseases, obstructions in the genital tract that prevent the correct transport of spermatozoa, erection or ejaculation problems and dysfunctions in sperm production.

Other causes can be infections, development of antibodies against the sperm itself, genetic diseases and even neurological dysfunctions.

Can infertility in men be prevented?

We know that maintaining as healthy a lifestyle as possible is related to optimal semen quality, as obesity and overweight increase male infertility and are also associated with the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Therefore, although it is a general recommendation that becomes more important when seeking pregnancy, it is totally beneficial to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, to exercise regularly and, very importantly, to avoid the consumption of alcohol and tobacco or other toxic substances when the couple is about to get pregnant.

Similarly, stress can also have a negative effect on male reproductive health and can affect sperm quality.

What are the alternatives for achieving pregnancy in the case of male infertility?

It is important that when a couple is unable to achieve pregnancy, both partners undergo an examination to determine the status of their reproductive health.

Even if we determine that the partner diagnosed with an infertility problem is the man, we must know how the woman’s reproductive status is in order to determine the best treatment.

As you know, age is a determining factor, as is knowing whether the quality and quantity of eggs produced by a woman is optimal or if, when we carry out a check-up, we find any problem, such as endometriosis, which may hinder pregnancy.

Once the necessary tests have been carried out, we can determine the most appropriate treatment. In cases where there is no possibility of achieving pregnancy with the partner’s sperm, the most common treatments are Artificial Insemination and IVF, both using donor sperm.

For example, in cases where the quality of the woman’s eggs is good and there is no problem, we can opt for Artificial Insemination, a much simpler treatment and similar to natural fertilisation, although the pregnancy rates are lower (similar to the search for a natural pregnancy).

When we find problems related to the quality of the eggs, repeated miscarriages or we detect any genetic anomaly, it will be much more advisable to opt for an IVF treatment.

At Fertty, we make it possible

Each case is unique and we work to offer a personalised solution for each situation.

Our assisted reproduction laboratory is equipped with the latest technology, placing it at the forefront of safety and excellence.

We have a medical and patient care team ready to attend you in your own language and who will help you with everything you need from the moment you decide to come to Barcelona to start your treatment.

You can book your first visit with our specialists free of charge by clicking here

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