About Male Infertility
Infertility is defined as a couple's inability to achieve pregnancy following one year of unprotected intercourse. It has been estimated that 15-20% of couples attempting to achieve pregnancy are unable to do so.
Normally, the male reproductive system makes, stores, and transports semen from the testicles. During ejaculation, the sperm travels through the reproductive tubing and mixes with fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicle (which is then called sperm), and then leaves the penis.
Most commonly, infertility is caused from sperms problems. The sperm may:
- not be fully grown
- be oddly shaped
- not move the right way
- have a low concentration (oligospermia)
- be obstructed in the reproductive tubing (azoospermia)
Varicoceles, or swollen veins in the scrotum, are found in 40 out of 100 infertile men. A varicocele blocks proper drainage of blood, which can harm sperm growth.
A semen analysis is a routine lab test that can help determining the cause of infertility. The physician will collect your sperm in a sterile cup for further analysis. The semen sample will be studied for sperm volume, count, concentration, movement, and structure.