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How Common Is Male Infertility In India? Can Infertile Men Be Treated?

Updated on January 14, 2017

A decade ago, the absence of a child in Indian families was related to the sheer incapability of the female partner to conceive, and give birth to a healthy baby. However, with knowledge came the end of such beliefs, and today we know that infertility can be a condition affecting either of the partners.

Recent reports show that male infertility is a serious and rising health ailment in India. There are a multitude of factors that may cause sterility in men; however, identifying the problem and opting for treatment measures can resolve the issue easily.

Male infertility does not come up with vivid symptoms. And it is due to this, that many men remain unaware about their sterility and continue to lead lives without seeking any medical attention despite the existing condition. Therefore, learning about symptoms and causes can help couples to identify problems at an early stage; thus accelerating the treatment. It is also important to note that, male sterility is not an irreversible scenario and there are a lot of treatment options available for infertile men in most hospitals across India. The following discussion will help you learn about infertility in men and treatment options available.


Male Infertility is related to Sperm health and count:

To contribute towards conception, the following must take place without hindrance:

  • Males need to produce healthy sperms: Every male reproductive organ includes the testicles that produce essential male reproductive hormone; testosterone, along with other hormones that regulate sperm production within the body.
  • Sperm produced need to reach the semen: Once the sperms are produced, they need to be carried through the narrow and delicate tubes, where they mix with semen and are ejaculated out of the penis.
  • Enough sperm must be present in the semen sample: The semen ejaculated must have sufficient sperm that guarantees fertilization of by any of the sperm. If the number of sperm in the semen (sperm count) is low, chances of conception are lower.
  • Motility of sperms: Sperm motility or the correct movement and functionality of the sperm ensure proper penetration into the partner’s egg and thus conception.


What are the factors leading to male infertility?

The following are some of the probable causes of male infertility:

Undescended testicles: During fetal development, male testicles naturally descend from the abdomen into the sac like structure known as scrotum that holds these vital reproductive organs. However, in some men this descend does not take place and later leads to infertility issues.

  • Hormonal imbalances: Malfunction of either the pituitary, thyroid or adrenal glands result in hormonal imbalance and thus stand as one of the underlying reason behind infertility.
  • Erectile dysfunction: A condition where an erection takes place; however, it is not sufficient for a complete sexual intercourse that may result in successful conception.
  • Ejaculation issues: A condition where the semen, instead of ejecting out of the penis finds a way into the bladder during orgasm. Men who undergo TURP surgery may develop this condition that may ultimately lead to infertility. However, it must be noted that Transurethral Resection of the Prostate is one of the easiest and safest medical procedure performed to cure prostate gland disorders. Consulting with your doctor prior surgery and learning more about the do’s and don’ts post surgery is suggested to keep infertility problems at bay.
  • Blockage in the tubules that transport sperm: Any form of infection, injury, trauma or abnormal growth may act as a blockage in the seamless transportation of sperms, and thus disturb the sperm count and lead to infertility.
  • Environmental factors: Prolonged exposure to certain environmental factors such as X rays, lead, extreme heat etc can reduce sperm production and thus cause infertility.


Are there any noticeable symptoms of Infertility?

Most men suffering from infertility do not complain of any vivid symptom, other than failed conception experienced by their partners. However, the factors that lead to infertility such as infections or blockages may bring about certain symptoms as mentioned below:

  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Inability to smell
  • Abnormal breast growth known as Gynecomastia
  • Decreased facial and body hair
  • Pain and swelling around the testicles
  • Repeated and unexplained respiratory infections


Male Infertility – Tests and Diagnosis:

Most men suffering from infertility do not complain of any vivid symptom, other than failed conception experienced by their partners. However, the factors that lead to infertility such as infections or blockages may bring about certain symptoms as mentioned below:

  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Inability to smell
  • Abnormal breast growth known as Gynecomastia
  • Decreased facial and body hair
  • Pain and swelling around the testicles
  • Repeated and unexplained respiratory infections

Male Infertility – Tests and Diagnosis:

A person suspected to be sterile may need to undergo multiple laboratory tests and diagnosis to either rule out the condition, or find the cause behind infertility and thus a needed treatment. Following are some of the tests performed to diagnose infertility:

  • General Physical Examination: General Physical Examination involves preliminary sessions with your doctor who examines your genitals to determine structural deformation leading to infertility. Your doctor may even discuss about any probable inherited condition or other health problems that is impacting fertility. Questions related to Sexual habits or sexual development during puberty may also be expected.
  • Semen analysis: Required amount of semen sample may be collected at your doctor’s office or may be provided according to convenience. This sample is then tested under laboratory conditions to determine sperm count and health. In conditions where sperm count is detected to be low, genetic tests are carried out to determine chromosomal defects and other inherited syndromes.
  • Sperm function test: Sperm function test comprises of a group of laboratory tests that help determine how functional the sperms are after ejaculation. However, these are not mandatory and are therefore rarely performed.
  • Post ejaculation urinalysis: A urine test that shows presence of sperms in the sample collected reveals that your sperms travel back towards the bladder and do not ejaculate through penis. This condition is known as retrograde ejaculation.

Once the complete medical diagnosis is conducted, your doctor will take up necessary steps. Mostly, doctors prescribe hormonal medicines or antibiotics to treat infections that are leading to infertility problems. However, in rare cases where infertility does not have any possible solution, your doctor may ask the couple to either use donor sperms or adopt a child.

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