Male infertility issues are responsible for about one-third of infertility problems among couples. Male infertility can range from a decrease in sperm production to a physical blockage that prevents sperm from reaching its destination. The CRE (previously SIRM-Dallas) expert team of fertility specialists treat male infertility and evaluate each patient and offer a treatment plan based on each patient’s needs.
A few of the most common issues responsible for male infertility are listed below:
Infection and Environmental factors
Some cases of male infertility are due to temporary factors, such as infections and sexually transmitted diseases, exposure to harmful substances, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and drug use. Treating the underlying infection and/or making specific lifestyle changes can often reverse this type of infertility.
Surgery or vasectomy
Men who have undergone a vasectomy or who have had surgery of the testicles may be unable to help their partner conceive naturally. Patients who have undergone a vasectomy but would like to have children may have a vasectomy reversal.
Rare genetic conditions, such as Klinefelter’s or Young’s syndrome can result in male infertility. Often, these patients are identified through a family history or a semen analysis showing a complete lack of sperm. Some of these conditions can be overcome using assisted reproductive technologies, but some cannot.
While not as common, hormonal imbalances in men can cause issues with sperm production, seminal fluid, and even a decrease in sex drive. Treatment may involve medication, treatment for an underlying condition, or advanced reproductive technology.
Varicocele, a large varicose vein in the scrotum, can cause overheating of the testicles. This can affect sperm production, morphology, and motility, but can often be remedied with surgery.
Epididymal or Vas Deferens Defect
Defects in the Epididymal or Vas Deferens can prevent sperm cells from being carried out of the testes due to the tubes being blocked, malformed, or absent. A blockage can be corrected surgically, but if the tube is absent or irreparable, it may still be possible to conceive so long as health sperm are still being produced.
Direct injury (testicular or pelvic trauma, heat, irradiation, etc.)
Any injury to the testicles or pelvic region can result in the lack of sperm production or the production of poor quality sperm.