Infertility in Men

Infertility in Men

Men’s Clinic in Singapore (Caring & Treating Since 2005)

What is Men Infertility?

It is definitely a joy for parents when they have children. However, in current times, many couples don’t have children until they are ready. When they do start trying for a baby, that is when it can cause anxiety and frustration.

The success rate for young healthy couples to conceive at any given month is around 15% – 25%. So this process of trying to conceive may take many months before the couples successfully conceive.

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What are the Infertility Rates?

Imagine if there are additional factors in either or both partners, the chance of getting pregnant becomes lower.

I will be touching on male infertility. It has been shown that men infertility is the main factor in 20% of cases of failure to conceive. And in 30-40% of cases, it is a contributing factor.

Male Fertility Tests:

1.) Seminal Analysis

Before I talk about the tests, let me explain that the sperm is the actual sex cell involved in fertility. Semen is the encompassing liquid that is produced during ejaculation. Semen contains sperm as well as other nutrients such as glucose and protein. 

The first recommended test is seminal analysis. To prepare for this test, you will need to abstain from sex or masturbation for at least 3 days.

The next step would be to collect a semen sample into a sample pot and getting it to the laboratory within 1 hour of ejaculation (sperm doesn’t last long outside the body unfortunately so getting it to the lab earlier will produce better results).

Once that is done then we would have to wait for the results which can take up to a week.

2.) Scrotum Ultrasound

The next recommended assessment would be a scrotum ultrasound. This is to assess the testicles and surrounding structures. It is quick, painless and non-invasive.

We can assess the anatomy of the testicles as well as check to see that there are no other issues causing reduced fertility. Some possible problems would include hydrocele (fluid around the testicles) and varicocele (prominent veins around the testicles).

Good sperm quality requires a cooler body temperature (approximately 2 degrees Celsius below that of normal body temperature. Prominent veins or fluid around the testicles act like insulation and increase the overall temperature leading to poorer sperm quality.

Male Infertility Treatment:

The Cause of Male Infertility

The causes of male infertility vary greatly. The most common causes are:

  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking excessive alcohol, excessive stress and wearing overly tight pants or undergarments
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity
  • Age – more couples are starting their families at an older age

Less common causes include:

  • Hormonal issues like low Testosterone levels
  • Abnormally enlarged blood vessels (varicoceles) around the testes
  • Genetic problems
  • Previous injury, trauma, surgery or radiotherapy to the testes
  • Side effects of medications such as chemotherapy,  immune-modulators or anabolic steroids

Male Infertility Treatment

The treatment for Male Infertility depends on the cause. Lifestyle modifications such as stopping smoking, regular aerobic exercise and avoiding tight pants have been shown to help.

A diet rich in micronutrients and antioxidants has also been shown to be beneficial. Nutritional support supplements are a convenient way to ensure the right dose of micronutrients and antioxidants are consumed daily for maximum benefit to improve fertility.

Certain patients will benefit from hormonal therapy. For the right patients, these treatments have been shown to be very effective in increasing and improving sperm production.

See our Doctors today for more advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Male Infertitly

A seminal analysis can provide lots of information, but the most important are listed below:

  • Volume – this measure overall semen volume and a normal amount should be more than 1.9ml
  • Sperm concentration – overall concentration of sperm within the semen itself and this should be above 19,000,000 per millilitre.
  • Active movement (motility) – this looks at the percentage of sperm that has normal movement and should be above 60%. This is important because even if normal appearing sperm has poor movement then it will be very challenging for the sperm to fertilise the egg.
  • Morphology – This looks at the general appearance (shape and size) of the sperm. Normal appearing sperm should be more than 30%.

If there is an issue with any of the parameters in the seminal analysis, There are a few recommended steps that you can take.

  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Losing weight
  • Reduce body fat
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Quit Smoking
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Wearing looser underwear (boxers rather than briefs) and looser trousers.
  • Avoid long distance cycling.
  • Minimise sitting for extended periods – get up just to walk around for a few minutes at a time is enough.

Other than lifestyle modifications, medications can be used to improve sperm count, quality and motility.

Sometimes, the condition is serious enough to require medical treatment. The treatment required will depend on what the underlying condition is.

For example, if you have a varicocele (swollen blood vessels around the testes), you may require surgery to remove these blood vessels. If you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance, you may need tablets to balance the hormones.

There are also medical grade supplements available that can improve various sperm performance parameters like count, motility (how fast they swim) and morphology (how normal they look).

Speak to our Male Doctor Today!

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