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Male Infertility : Causes, impact and what can be done about it

26 Aug 2015

Causes and treatments

There are a wide number of reasons for male infertility. Some are caused by physical problems that prevent the sperm from being ejaculated normally in semen. Others affect the quality and production of the sperm itself.

· Sexually transmitted diseases or other infections: Genital infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility in men.

Treatment: The infertility can often be resolved by treating the infection.


· Blockages, birth defects, or physical damage:  In some cases, men are born with blockages in parts of the testicle or other abnormalities that prevent sperm from getting into the semen.

Treatment: Surgery can sometimes correct the problem.


· Retrograde ejaculation: In this disorder, semen doesn't come out of the penis during ejaculation, but instead enters the bladder.

Treatment: treatment depends on the underlying cause.


·  Genetic diseases: Although it's rare, genetic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis or chromosomal disorders can cause infertility.


 Antisperm antibodies (ASA) in the male cause an autoimmune disease ‘immune infertility’

Treatment: A lot depends on which autoimmune disease a person has and the severity of symptoms. One should see a specialist well in advance.


· Sexual problems like erectile dysfunction (impotence) and premature ejaculation are often heard of. These problems can be caused due to various psychological problems such as anxiety, guilt, or low self-esteem. It is also caused by physical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

Treatment: Talk to your doctor about ways of treating any sexual problems.


· Varicoceles: It is a problem with enlarged varicose veins that develop in the scrotum and prevent blood from flowing properly. Around 15% of all men are affected with it and this is a cause of infertility in around 40% of men.

Treatment: one method could be a corrective surgeries.




Psychological effects of infertility on masculinity


Holding back oneself from getting medical treatment is a bigger problem, especially among men than the infertility itself.  Most men worry over something as basic as a ‘semen test’ and on most occasion hold themselves back. Such strong are our social stigmas and dogmatic thinking.

Research has shown that the diagnosis of infertility causes many males to question their masculinity. For example, in a study exploring the views of fertile individuals towards infertile men and women, Miall (1994) found that male infertility was frequently seen as arising from sexual dysfunction and was thus associated with higher levels of stigma than female infertility.

Unfortunately two things that have little relevance are paired here. I am talking about infertility and Sexual performance!! Many people assume that infertile men cannot perform sexually. This stigma adds to the heightened insecurities in infertile men.

Male factor infertility is proposed to have such a strong social prejudice that it produces stress, and a culture of secrecy and protectiveness to the extent that women sometimes even take the blame for the couple's childlessness.

Sexual dissatisfaction of infertile men could also be related to a withdrawal from sexual activities and hence to even lower chances of conception.

However, infertile men are likely to be depressive and anxious, and have lower masculinity scores and self-esteem.   This gets worsened with yet another social prejudice that men can’t be emotionally weak or frail. They hesitate to talk to their spouse, friends or get counselling. Moreover, stress will have direct bearing on the sperm counts if anything else.

All men need to know that, research has shown that men have high chances to benefit from treatment moroever the diagnosed infertility may be temporary and/or reversible. Men who acknowledge infertility, articulate the sources of their anxiety, express their loss of confidence in sexual adequacy, deal openly with their wives' disappointment and anger, and consciously redefine their male and marital roles show improved sperm counts and may even be more successful at impregnating their wives.

At ePsyClinic, You can consult a Gynaecologist, A lifestyle Psychologist and Pregnancy wellness expert who can together help you manage Infertility condition and help you tremendously.


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Tags: #infertility #male #depression #treatment