A diagnosis of infertility is made when couples fail to conceive after one and a half years of unprotected intercourse. In all the cases of infertility, 50% can be attributed to a male factor or male infertility.
These include insufficient sperms, immotile sperms and presence of abnormal sperms. Sometimes there is a complete absence of sperms. Different treatment modalities have now been envisaged for both male and female infertility.
The Best Treatment For Male Infertility
When male infertility is suspected, a semen analysis of the male is done to assess the sperm count and sperm morphology. An abnormal result can indicate male infertility. Several months or even years of treatment can help the man to conceive a child.
Removal of Blockages
A blockage in the vas deferens, the tubes that transport the man’s sperms into his ejaculate is removed in order to restore fertility. This could be a general blockage or a blockage due to a vasectomy. In 80% of the cases, vasectomies can be reversed. This can allow the man to impregnate his wife.
Surgery may be needed in case of varicocele. In varicocele, the testes develop varicose veins, which may affect his fertility. The surgery done is minor and helps to remove or repair the varicose veins.
Certain fertility medications are said to be effective in increasing the sperm count of the man. Besides, these essential vitamins and minerals like selenium, zinc and vitamin E are crucial to male fertility. A deficiency in these can be corrected with the help of supplements.
Correction of Hormonal Deficiencies
A hormonal deficiency can be corrected with the help of HCG injections given over a period of 6 months. A hormonal imbalance in the pituitary gland can affect the production of testosterone, which leads to an absence in the production of sperms.
The man is tested after 6 months to see if sperms have been generated. The success rate for this therapy is high, as most men will eventually develop sperms in their semen. The treatment however is prolonged and can last for more than a year.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
When the semen contains very few sperm, abnormal sperm or no sperm at all, then assisted reproductive techniques can be of some help. These techniques require painstaking effort, are very expensive and success rates are still very low. The treatment has to be repeated 2-3 times to help achieve a pregnancy.
In Vitro fertilization
In this process, healthy sperm are introduced to the egg in a Petri dish in a lab setting under controlled conditions. The resultant embryo may then be planted into the woman’s womb and a pregnancy may be achieved. A lot of this depends on the woman’s age, the quality of the eggs and the expertise of the infertility centre.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
For men suffering from very low sperm counts and abnormal sperm, ICSI may be done. In this, one healthy sperm is directly introduced or injected into the egg cell to achieve fertilization. The technique requires tremendous precision and is very expensive.
Testicular Extraction of Sperm
If the man’s semen completely lacks sperm, then the sperm are directly removed from the testes under minor surgery and this sperm is then used to achieve fertilization.