Male fertility, an important issue for couples

Male fertility has become the angular point of the assisted reproduction processes that couples who wish to have a child have today. Moreover, it is that, contrary to what was believed in the past, man could contribute up to 50% of the difficulties when it comes to having a baby, and that is why it is essential to evaluate your reproductive health at the same time as your spouse’s. In the following document, the urologist Fabián Raigosa will explain to us more about this interesting topic:

In today’s medicine, male infertility is defined the same as feminine: it is the inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after a year of having sex without using any type of contraceptive method. The causes are what vary.

The most common are those that arise from acquired causes: infectious diseases, exposure to radiation, extreme heat, and chemical agents; use of drugs, chemotherapy and alterations from the genetic burden of the patient. There are also traumatic causes such as shocks, surgeries, or accidents that alter the functionality of the male reproductive system and the voluntary causes, where patients who have had a vasectomy are found.

Primary infertility, which is defined as the impossibility of a man to have children, and the seconday, which is when the patient already has descendants but presents difficulties in achieving a new pregnancy.  In male infertility there is talk of several determinants: man must provide a good sperm, healthy, with good genetic characteristics to fertilize and with good mobility to reach an egg. There are fewer causes in male infertility than in female, and therefore, to determine infertility in man is less exhaustive that in women.

Having unprotected sex for a long period and not getting a pregnancy. There are multiple causes but no accurate diagnosis can be made without the help of a spermogram, the king of the diagnostic tests in male infertility.

Symptoms include erection or ejaculation problems, as these sexual responses affect the transport of sperm.

  • Family history: having brothers, cousins or infertile uncles.
  • Alteration in the development of male sex organs.
  • Diseases in childhood such as mumps, strong infections in the testicles, sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Exposure to chemicals, solvents, medicines for daily use, exposure to high temperatures such as furnaces and boilers, radiation and X-rays.
  • Drugs such as cigarettes, liquor, marijuana, cocaine, among others, are not determinants in male infertility, but can impair the mobility and exit of sperm, which alters success in a process of fertility in the couple.
  • An emotional side to fertility can affect man when it comes to getting pregnant, because his answer is not the same if it presents anxiety, depression and other illnesses that alter their mood.

The male factor shows a very important percentage, contrary to what was believed in the past. It is known that the man contributes 30% of the difficulties around infertility, 20% are provided by both members of the couple and the woman provides the other 50%. That is to say that in the middle of the problems of the infertility is present the male factor, and therefore in Inser we evaluate of entry to the man like the woman to know how its fertility is found in face to the search of a new pregnancy.

The treatments are determined based on the causes of infertility that have been found in each patient.  For that we counteract those that are affecting the development and the production of sperm, then we remove the external agents like the medicines, the heat, etc.  After treating the causes, we can extract the sperm by means of a biopsy to proceed to insemination and in vitro treatments and thus achieve the pregnancy.

The Spermogram shows three results: How is sperm production, its quality and its ability to move.

This test is the starting point to study all possible causes, some can be solved but others cannot. Technology helps in those cases where it is not possible to achieve a pregnancy with existing sperm, by means of microinjection of sperm in in vitro treatments, where sperm counts per unit and not by millions per cubic centimeter, where the idea is that more couples fulfill the dream of being a parent in the short term.

If you need to know more about male fertility, contact the Inser centers in Bogota, Medellín, Pereira and Cartagena and ask for an appointment with one of our specialists.