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, contrary to what was believed in the past, man could contribute up to 50% of the difficulties in the process of having a baby. That is why evaluating your reproductive health simultaneously with your partner is essential. In the following document, the urologist Fabián Raigosa will explain to us more about this exciting topic:
In today’s medicine, male infertility is defined in the same way as female infertility: it is the inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after a year of having sex without using any contraceptive method. The causes are what vary.
The most common are those that arise from acquired causes: infectious diseases, exposure to radiation, extreme heat, chemical agents, use of drugs, chemotherapy, and alterations from the genetic material of the patient. There are also traumatic causes like shocks, surgeries, or accidents that alter the functionality of the male reproductive system and voluntary causes, where we find patients who have had a vasectomy.
Primary infertility is defined as the impossibility of a man having children; the second way is when the patient already has descendants but presents difficulties in achieving a new pregnancy. There is talk of several determinants in male infertility: 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 for male infertility than in females; therefore, determining infertility in men is less exhaustive than in women.
Having unprotected sex for an extended 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 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 during childhood, such as mumps, strong infections in the testicles, and 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, and cocaine, among others, are not determinants in male infertility but can impair the mobility and exit of sperm, which alters success in the fertility process in the couple.
- An emotional side to fertility can affect a man when it comes to getting pregnant. His answer is different if it presents anxiety, depression, and other illnesses that alter their mood.
The male factor shows a significant percentage, contrary to what was believed in the past. It is known that the man contributes 30% of the difficulties around infertility. Both members of the couple provide 20%, and the woman provides the other 50%. That is to say that the male factor is present in the middle of the problems of infertility. Therefore, in Inser, we evaluate both the man and the woman from the start to paint the complete picture to face the search for a new pregnancy.
The treatments are determined based on the causes of infertility found in each patient. For that, we counteract those affecting the development and the production of sperm, and then we remove the external agents like medicines, heat, etc. After treating the causes, we can extract the sperm through a biopsy to proceed to insemination and in vitro treatments and thus achieve the pregnancy.
The Spermogram shows three results: How is sperm production, quality, and ability to move. This test is the starting point for studying 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 utilizing 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 more information about male fertility, contact the Inser centers in Bogota, Medellín, Pereira, and Cartagena and request an appointment with one of our specialists.