Male Factors in Infertility

By | January 5, 2014

More often than not, when looking at infertility, it is often believed to be a “Women’s issue”, with the female partner having numerous tests to discover the cause.

It often comes as a huge shock to discover not only does the male partner contribute to infertility, studies indicate that 35% of infertility is related to male factor problems such as structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders.

More than 90% of male infertility cases are due to low sperm counts and sperm abnormalities or both. The remaining cases of male infertility can be caused by a range of conditions including anatomical problems, hormonal imbalances, and genetic defects.

Low Sperm Count

Normal sperm may be produced in abnormally low numbers (oligospermia) or seemingly not at all (azoospermia).
Sperm abnormalities are a critical factor in male infertility. These abnormalities include:

•    Poor sperm motility (movement)
•    Abnormal sperm shape

Because of the focus on the female partner, it often comes as a shock to many on their infertility journey when they are forced to contend with male factor infertility.

Some men find that low sperm count or poor sperm quality makes them somehow “less of a man” .  Many men may experience profound feelings of guilt, anger, and low self-esteem, as if they are letting their partner’s down after a long history of failed infertility treatment which can affect all aspects of their lives.

It is essential to recognize the grief and anger that a male partner may be experiencing and to talk about how best to address this. It is also important to note that although this makes becoming and staying pregnant more challenging, it does not stop you from having a child.

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