How do doctors diagnose male infertility?
After knowing male infertility warning signs, it is important to get checked by your doctor so proper treatment can be prescribed. Assessment usually begins with a thorough history taking and physical exam. This will include disclosing your medical history, as well as your sexual habits. These will help determine factors that might cause your infertility. Afterward, men can undergo additional tests, which may include:
Semen analysis. A sample of your semen is taken for laboratory evaluation. It usually includes examining sperm count, motility, and appearance.
Testicular biopsy. A needle is inserted through the scrotum in order to take a sample of tissue from the testes. This is an effective method to check sperm production.
Ultrasonography. An ultrasound maps out the reproductive organ, which makes it easy to check for blockages and scarring.
Hemizona assay and Acrosome reaction. These are examples of lab tests that examine a sperm’s penetration abilities.
How do you treat male infertility?
Treatment of male infertility depends on the cause. This is determined by infertility warning signs and diagnosis. Male infertility can be treated with medication or certain procedures, some of which include:
Certain medications can alter hormone levels that affect fertility. For example, injecting recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone (rhFSH) into the blood helps increase sperm count.
Surgical procedures can address damage and blockages within the reproductive organs. For example, cutting off abnormal veins can repair varicoceles. Moreover, doctors can remove obstructions within the reproductive tract.
Proper diet, exercise, and avoidance of bad habits, such as alcoholism and smoking, can improve fertility.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies
For couples who are trying to conceive, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may also be advised. These are fertility methods used to stimulate pregnancy. Examples of ART include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI). This procedure places sperm directly into the uterus using a fine catheter. It is most effective at the time of ovulation.
- In-vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF surgically collects eggs and are combined with sperm in a petri dish where fertilization can occur. Doctors then plant embryos into the uterus. Additionally, this procedure requires hormone pre-treatment.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In this advanced procedure, doctors inject a single, healthy sperm into an egg to create an embryo.
Male infertility accounts for 30% of all infertility cases. It typically stems from problems in sperm production and other physical dysfunctions, though symptoms of male infertility are not usually obvious. Sometimes, it is not until the couple tries to conceive that problems will be more evident. It is also important to understand fertility and check for any infertility warning signs. In doing so, couples can seek the treatment they need.
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