There are various conditions that can affect male infertility, most of which are evident in a semen analysis. Common abnormalities can include low motility (slow moving), low concentration (low number), or an abnormal shape and size. Additional testing may be performed as indicated by the semen analysis results.
A varicocele is a varicose vein found in the scrotum above the testicle. Excess blood becomes backed up in the vein causing overheating and, as a result, varicocele can diminish the quantity or quality of sperm cells that are produced.
A varicocele is a common cause of male infertility, is easily diagnosed during a physical examination by a urologist and can be surgically corrected.
Blocked Sperm Flow
Several conditions can block or alter the flow of sperm, such as a missing vas deferens (tube connecting testicles to the penis), or diversion of sperm into the bladder. which can cause the sperm count to be very low or absent.
Fortunately, as long as sperm is still being produced, sperm can be obtained directly from the testicles or with medical treatment and used during insemination or in vitro fertilization.
Hormonal imbalances, caused by genetic conditions, gland malfunction, or elevated weight can affect sperm production and cause male infertility.
Simple blood tests are used to diagnose hormonal imbalances and treatment options may involve medication or lifestyle changes.
Environmental and Lifestyle Factors
Sperm cells are constantly being produced and consequently, the quantity and quality of sperm are easily affected by environmental exposure, lifestyle and other factors.
Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, excess weight, specific medications, exposure to toxins, and anything that causes prolonged overheating of the testicles can contribute to poor sperm quality and male infertility. Most of the time, these effects can be reversed by eliminating the influence.