1 in every 6 couple has trouble getting pregnant. Subfertility may affect both male and female partners. Hence, it is important to assess the causes of infertility in male along with the causes of female infertility.
What causes male infertility?
Causes of infertility in men include:
– low sperm count or quality
– problems with the tubes carrying sperm
– problems getting an erection
– problems ejaculating
– having received medical treatment such as drug treatment, radiotherapy or surgery – for example to correct a hernia, undescended testes or twisted testicles
– genetic problems
– medical conditions such as diabetes
– lifestyle factors such as being overweight or having a job that involves contact with chemicals or radiation.
– testicular varicocele
– age – male fertility is also thought to decline with age, although to what extent is unclear.
80% of couples who have regular sexual intercourse (that is, three to four times a week) and who do not use contraception will get pregnant within a year.
Male fertility testing includes the following investigations:
– Semen analysis
This is the most commonly performed male fertility test done by fertility clinics to assess the sperm quality with regards to sperm concentration, motility and morphology. Some fertility clinics also perform the MAR test to determine the antisperm antibody (IgG and IgA) levels. We recommend two to three days’ abstinence before producing a semen sample for analysis. Spermcheck fertility test kit, is a commercially available fertility test for men that allows you to perform a sperm count test at home.
– Semen culture
– Sperm DNA fragmentation
The DNA fragmentation index is an indicator of the fragility or DNA damage within the sperm. Sperm with high DNA fragmentation may fertilise an egg but embryo development may be compromised and there is evidence that there might be an increased risk of miscarriage. Hence, high DNA fragmentation is a predictor of low IVF success rates.
– Hormonal tests
– Karyotype Analysis
– Y deletion Testing
– Cystic Fibrosis Screeing
– Ultrasound scan of the testes