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Less than ten years ago, men who struggled to conceive had few alternatives for treatment outside insemination(s) or IVF with donor sperm. The introduction of new therapeutic alternatives in the field of male infertility therapy has given men, even those who have no sperm in their ejaculate due to genetic disorders, a much better chance of having children of their own.
Non-surgical pharmaceutical treatments, surgical procedures, and various assisted reproductive technologies are all viable choices for treating male factor infertility.
Causes of male infertility
Doctors say it takes a number of processes and hormones before a man can get his girlfriend pregnant. Two brain glands, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary are responsible for secreting hormones into the bloodstream. The pituitary gland produces luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a hormone secreted by the hypothalamus (FSH). The testicles need these hormones in the process of making testosterone and sperm.
Infertility can result from:
- An issue with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which results in low production of LH and FSH (and poor stimulation of the testicles to generate testosterone and sperm)
- A problem with the testicles, which results in decreased sperm production (this is the most common cause of male infertility)
- Seminal fluid obstruction, which prevents sperm from leaving the body during ejaculation.
Sometimes, medical professionals will investigate infertility but come up empty-handed.
Treatment for male infertility
Prior to treatment or surgery, several fertility tests are required. After this, doctors must then first identify the underlying cause of the condition in the male reproductive system. It is only possible to begin the correct course of treatment after the root cause has been determined.
In the case of male infertility, a variety of approaches are available.
Reduced fertility caused by low testosterone (hypogonadism) may be treated with gonadotrophin injections. The production of testosterone and sperm is prompted by these.
Sperm is ejaculated into the bladder instead of the urethra and out of the body in a man with retrograde ejaculation. Medicines, such as pseudoephedrine, may be prescribed by your doctor to assist seal the urethral hole.
2. Male infertility treatment with surgery
- Varicocele ligation: In some cases, surgical ligation (tying off) of the enlarged veins is suggested if a varicocele is detected. Varicocele ligation improves sperm quality in roughly two-thirds of men, especially if the varicocele is large (Grade II or Grade III). Treatment for a varicocele has a 40% chance of resulting in a pregnancy, while the average time to conception after surgery varies from 6-9 months for different ages of women. It is doubtful that this procedure will increase sperm counts sufficiently to allow the couple to conceive without help if the baseline sperm count and motility are in the severe male factor category.
- Methods of sperm extraction (MESA, PESA, TESE): Nowadays, sperm can be collected from males with minimally invasive methods in practically any situation. Whether a man has had a vasectomy, a failed vasectomy reversal, no vas deferens, or an unresolvable blockage elsewhere in the seminal tract, he may be a candidate for retrieval (obstructive azoospermia).
- Ejaculatory duct resection via the vaginal trabecular system: By removing the blockage, this surgery increases the likelihood that parts of the ejaculatory duct that have been inflamed or persistently dilated may return to normal.
- Removal of the seminal vesicles via the bladder wall (TURSV): By removing the blockage, the operation increases the likelihood that the inflammatory or persistently dilated zones will return to normal.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
- Many cases of infertility can be treated using in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure that uses laboratory-grown embryos to fertilize an egg or sperm outside of the body. In cases of male infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often indicated in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, is a laboratory procedure in which a single sperm is inserted into an egg. This method is quite similar to in vitro fertilization, although it may have a higher success rate if there is a known problem with the male partner’s sperm production.
If medication hasn’t helped you get an erection, your doctor may recommend a vacuum pump if that’s what’s causing your infertility. To increase blood flow to the penis, you remove the air from the tube in which it is placed. After 30 minutes, the constriction band at the penile base is removed and the erection is no longer required.
The use of donor sperm
Male factor infertility can be overcome with the help of a sperm donor. Donor sperm is used in an artificial insemination method, in which the female partner is conceived. Compared to other, more cutting-edge treatment methods, it might be more wallet-friendly.
DIY remedies for male infertility
So, can your fertility be improved through self-directed measures? Yes. For starters, avoid activities that reduce your chances of producing healthy sperm, such as using drugs like marijuana and cocaine or smoking cigarettes, or drinking more than two alcoholic beverages each day.
Some of the best doctors also recommend that men stay away from lakes and rivers and other hot tubs since the warm temperatures slow down your sperm factory.
Fertility is negatively affected by testosterone and other androgens, even those sold over the counter like DHEA (for bodybuilding). As a result of patients failing to disclose that they were taking these medications, needless procedures have been performed.
Even if you’re having trouble conceiving, that doesn’t imply you can’t have a child. Potential therapies exist. Your chances of becoming pregnant will improve if you and your partner cooperate with your best sexologist to do so.
1. How can infertility be treated?
The best treatment is assisted reproductive technology. In this procedure, mature eggs are collected, fertilized in a laboratory dish with sperm, and then implanted into the uterus. There is no doubt that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the gold standard in reproductive technology.
2. How long does infertility therapy typically last?
From the consultation until transfer, an IVF cycle typically takes between 6 and 8 weeks, but this timeline is universal between patients. There is a difference in how your body reacts at each stage.
3. What is the optimal time frame for initiating fertility treatment?
Fertility treatments may be worth exploring if you’ve been trying to conceive for at least a year and are younger than 35. Because fertility declines with age, many clinics recommend booking an appointment after six months of trying if you’re 35 or older.