You can talk about hockey or football with men easily, but try talking about semen analysis and sperm counts and you are bound to get awkward and uncomfortable expressions from them. Sure, those aren’t the most enticing topics for them, but if you’re having trouble conceiving, then you might need to have “the talk” with your man.
When couples go through infertility, the common misconception is that it’s the woman who has the problem. However, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), infertility issues are split evenly between females and males. Each group is responsible for 30% of infertility, and the rest is a combination of both female and male factors for unexplained reasons. This is why it is important for both partners’ fertility to be assessed if you are having trouble getting pregnant.
What is male infertility?
This is a condition in which the male reproductive tract and sperm has decreased capacity to lead to the fertilization of the egg to produce an embryo. Sometimes, male infertility can be the sole reason why a couple cannot get pregnant, but infertility can also be caused by a combination of both male and female factors.
What causes infertility in men?
There are different causes and here the common ones:
Structural abnormalities that may partially or completely block the sperm or seminal fluid flow. Men may be born with abnormalities or abnormalities may result from an infection or a surgery.
Sperm production disorders when sperm production is inhibited. This can happen in men who have had a varicocele or vasectomy that might cause low sperm count as well as decreased sperm quality.
Any condition that heats the testicles can lead to sperm problems. These include lap top use on laps, hot showers, frequent hot tubs, heated seats on cars and biking, among others.
Immunologic disorders such as endocrine disorders or anti-sperm antibodies that can prevent sperm from meeting and successfully penetrating the egg found in the woman’s genital tract.
Ejaculatory disturbances including retrograde ejaculation or impotence that prevent sperm from reaching the woman can also lead to sperm problems.
How can I convince my man to talk to a specialist?
Some men do not like visiting the doctor for a regular check-up, what more for a fertility workup? Even though your man may not show it, he might be feeling less of a man if he cannot get you pregnant right away. If he feels embarrassed or uncomfortable about that first visit to the doctor, make sure you offer him your support. Remind him that you are in this situation together. Whether infertility is identified as a female or male factor, it is still a shared problem in a relationship and should be addressed as a couple.
If you want to seek professional medical advice regarding male infertility, contact Dr. Fay Weisberg today.