While the majority of those who struggle with infertility are women, men make up about 30 percent of those facing fertility challenges. The issues can range from sperm production disorders, problems with ejaculation, to immunologic issues.
And just like with women, when men are diagnosed with fertility issues, it can seem like they lose a sense of who they are – what they should be capable of. And just like women, men might experience feelings of grief, anger, or guilt.
For men, fertility issues can be almost as complex as for women. They must produce a healthy and high number of sperm that are able to move. And those sperm must be transported without blockage.
Causes of male infertility can include varicocele -- a swelling of veins that drain the testicle. This prevents lower temperatures where sperm are produced, causing fewer numbers and those that are unable to move well. Some infections can interfere with sperm production as well, and ejaculations issues such as semen entering the bladder instead of leaving the penis. Some men might have had an undescended testicle upon birth, face a hormone imbalance, or have a defect in their sperm ducts. Some long term medications, undiagnosed celiac disease, and some past surgeries might also be a cause of infertility in men.
Lifestyle factors can also impact fertility in men, such as exposure to radiation, too much alcohol or tobacco use, and obesity.
Diagnosing the issue can include a semen analysis, scrotal or other ultrasound, hormone testing, a biopsy, or genetic testing. Treatments can range from minor surgeries, antibiotics for treating infections, hormone medications, or assisted reproductive technology.
Male fertility is just as important to acknowledge and understand as women suffering from the issue. For help understanding the challenges or more details, make an appointment by giving us a call at 717-747-3099 or clicking the link below.
Dr. Melanie Ochalski
P.S. For some info on male infertility, see our Just The Facts page.