Trying To Conceive Myth #2 – Infertility is Always Due to the Female*
In clinical practice, there tends to be an over emphasis on treating female infertility. Instances occur in which the male can remain untested only for him to be later identified as the greater contributing factor. Approximately one third of infertility cases can be attributed to the male and 7% of the male population will be affected by infertility.
There are a number of causes of male infertility. They are categorised as being either, pre-testicular, testicular or post-testicular. Example of each are as follows:
Pre-testicular: smoking; recreational drugs; alcohol; and strenuous bike riding.
Testicular: age; genetic defects; abnormal chromosomes; trauma; and previous health conditions (cancer, mumps or malaria etc).
Post-testicular: Infection and obstructions.
Sperm quality can be assessed with an andrology test. This generally consists of three main enquires. These are sperm count, morphology and motility.
Sperm count: Measures the concentration of sperm in the semen.
Morphology: Assesses the amount of sperm which are considered to be of normal shape.
Motility: Considers the sperm’s ability to move.
If you are experiencing infertility, it is advisable to consider asking for an andrology test. It is a cheap and easy way to exclude a significant potential cause. Moreover, if a problem is found, it may be easily treated. This is especially true for morphology and motility cases. After approximately three months of treatment, significant improvement can be experienced. In contrast, low sperm count is difficult to treat, but it can be however over-come with assisted reproductive procedures such as ICSI.
*This is the second of a list of 13 myths concerning conception which was compiled by Dr Minna Geisler from The Waterstone Clinic in Ireland.