Unlike rabbits, one human couple in six is infertile.
all about infertility
When we ejaculate, the liquid that comes out is a mixture of sperm and semen. Sperm are the swimmers that join with the female egg to make a foetus, and semen is the fluid that carries our sperm to keep it alive on its journey.
If we get a blockage in the tube that carries our sperm, if we don’t make enough sperm, or if our sperm is not good quality, this can make it hard or impossible to conceive a child naturally. We call this male infertility.
The main sign of infertility is that everything seems to be working physically, but you haven’t gotten your partner pregnant.
If you have been trying for over a year with no luck, go and see your doctor to get your swimmers checked out. If the infertility can be traced back to a low sperm count, lower quality sperm or a medical condition, this might be something your doctor can work with you to fix.
Male infertility can affect men of any age. However, the older you are, the more likely you are to have trouble conceiving.
Infertility can be caused by a number of factors including:
- Unhealthy lifestyle, eg. eating badly, being overweight, being run down, using drugs
- Exposure to chemicals
- Medical conditions
The healthier your lifestyle, the more sperm and better quality sperm you can produce.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your sexual history, like what STIs you’ve had, what surgeries you’ve had, your current lifestyle, and what contact you’ve had with chemicals that can cause infertility.
You’ll be asked for a semen sample to measure the quantity and quality of your sperm. Your sperm quality can vary from sample to sample so if the results from the first one don’t show any problems then you’ll need to give another sample.
Your testicles will be examined for swelling or evidence of a blockage in the tubes that carry your sperm.
You might need a blood test to check your hormone levels.
If your doctor can’t identify the cause, you’ll be referred to a fertility clinic for further testing.
Depending on the results of the tests, and whether the reason can be identified, your doctor may offer different treatment options. These could include:
- Hormone treatment
- Lifestyle changes
- Referral to a fertility clinic for further tests
- If your sperm count is low, you might want to consider alternative options with your partner like artificial insemination.