Infertility is defined as a condition wherein a couple is unable to conceive after one year or longer of unprotected sex. The inability to conceive is the most common sign of infertility.
Infertility in males can be caused by a variety of causes.
Smoking, heavy alcohol use and obesity are examples of environmental and lifestyle variables that might influence fertility. Furthermore, environmental contaminants and chemicals can be directly hazardous to male gametes (sperm), resulting in a decrease in their number and poor quality, culminating in infertility.
Male infertility can usually be diagnosed by sperm analysis. An expert evaluates the amount of sperm (concentration), motility (movement), and morphology (shape) while analysing semen. Some aberration observed as a result of sperm analysis does not always imply that the person is infertile. A semen analysis, on the other hand, can help evaluate if and how male variables contribute to the problem of infertility.
Infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, mumps, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can cause abnormal sperm production or function owing to undescended testicles, genetic abnormalities, health issues including diabetes, or infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, mumps, or HIV. Varicocele, or enlargement of the veins in the testes, can potentially impact the quality of sperm.
Sexual difficulties such as premature ejaculation, specific genetic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, anatomical abnormalities such as a blockage in the testicle or damage to the reproductive organs can all cause problems with delivery of sperm and can be constitutive reasons for infertility.
Hormones produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain keep testicular function normal. If the hypothalamus or pituitary glands have improper function, low or no sperm production can be caused by excessive production of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland (frequently owing to the existence of a benign pituitary gland tumour) or other disorders that impede the function of the brain or pituitary gland.
These conditions may include benign and malignant (cancerous) pituitary tumours, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, exposure to too much oestrogen and/or testosterone, Cushing’s syndrome, and chronic use of medications called glucocorticoids.
The shape of sperm and its motility can also play a part since it must have a specific form in order to penetrate the egg's outer layers. Thus, morphology of the male gamete might impact fertility. Most men with aberrant sperm morphology can still father children however, it may take longer or necessitate the help of a fertility professional.
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