Can there be Issues with my Sperm?

Can there be Issues with my Sperm?

Sometimes ago, women used to carry bulk of the blame in cases of infertility in Africa as men often don’t see need for medical diagnosis. But over times, it is becoming more glaring that the role of two partners in achieving pregnancy is very important. Both must work together to get through the phase. Couples who couldn’t achieve pregnancy in one year should visit their doctor who will carry out various investigations including a semen analysis to check the quality and quantity of your sperm.


 Both are highly important when investigating male partners. A low sperm count or poor sperm quality is the cause of infertility in about 25% of couples with fertility problems and is defined as fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

What if my result shows I’m the one with the problem? Men with low sperms always want to cover up as it is being associated to self-pride or esteem. Having a low sperm count isn’t your fault and should not make you start having a complex. It could happen to any man. So if your test shows abnormalities on the first test, you might have to give a little time; say 3 months after which you will carry out another test. This is needed for re confirmation as 1 in 10 men do have abnormal results on their first semen analysis. Another urgent reassessment will be done if your sperm count is very low or no sperm at all.




What causes a low sperm count?

No assertive cause can be found for a low sperm count. However, it has been associated with several genetic and non-genetic conditions, including:

  • hormone imbalance such as hypogonadism, where the testes produce few or no hormones

  • undescended testicles

  • a structural problem with the male genital tract – for example, the tubes that carry sperm can be damaged and blocked by illness or injury

  • genital infection such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or prostatitis (infection of the prostate gland)

  • previous surgery of the scrotum or the surrounding area

  • varicoceles (dilated veins within the testicles)

  • certain medication, including testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications (chemotherapy), some antibiotics and some ulcer medications

  • exposure to chemicals such as pesticides

  • using drugs, such as marijuana




Treatment options

If you ohave been diagnosed with a low sperm count, there are a few treatment options available.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg to fertilize it. The fertilized egg (embryo) is then transferred to the woman’s womb.

 ICSI will be offer if you have been trying to conceive naturally with your partner for at least two years and you have either few or no sperm in your semen or poor quality sperm

Some men have a fertility problem as a result of a gene abnormality on their Y chromosome (the male sex chromosome). However, unless this is suspected, you do not normally need tests for this before having ICSI.

Gonadotrophin drugs

If you have very low levels of gonadotrophin hormones (which stimulate the production of sperm) you will be offered treatment with gonadotrophin drugs to improve your fertility.

However, if no cause has been found for your abnormal sperm count, you will not be offered hormone-based drugs.

Donor insemination

Donor insemination means using sperm donated anonymously by another man. As a couple, you may wish to consider using donor insemination as an alternative to ICSI.

Donor insemination may also be considered if the man has a genetic disorder that could be passed on to any children.

Some Habits that Affect semen quality

Smoking

Evidence suggests that a man who smokes typically reduces his sperm count, and that this is reversible if he quits smoking.

More studies are needed to confirm whether this is true, but in the meantime it’s wise to quit anyway, as smoking damages your health in many other ways.

Alcohol

Some studies have attributed low sperm count to excessive alcohol intake.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexually transmitted infections such as; Chlamydia and gonorrhea are a cause of infertility for men. You should protect yourself and also limit number of sexual partners and use a condom each time you have sex.




Exercise

Some certain exercises can harm your sex organ. Seek advice from a physical and health educationist before embarking on any rigorous exercise.



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