Male Factor Infertility
Some of the barriers faced by men trying to achieve pregnancy with their partner may include azoospermia (lack of sperm), varicocele (an enlargement of veins in the testicles), the presence or prevalence of anti-sperm antibodies, and abnormalities related to sperm count, sperm motility, or semen volume, consistency, or pH. Or there may be a need to undo the effects of a vasectomy.
Non-obstructive azoospermia is when a man has no sperm in his semen because his body produces abnormal sperm. It’s a very common cause of male infertility. If a male partner has non-obstructive azoospermia, we will usually recommend a procedure called microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) to determine:
● If you have an adequate level of testosterone in sperm test results
● If you remain azoospermia even though you’ve received treatment and your testosterone levels have been normal for at least four months
We are able to find sperm approximately 70 percent of the time during microTESE procedures.
A varicocele is a dilation of a vein (like a varicose vein) in the scrotum. Many men with varicocele have a low sperm count or abnormal sperm morphology (shape). However, many men with varicocele are fertile. The reason a varicocele affects sperm production and shape might be related to a higher-than-normal temperature in the testicles.
Varicocele can be treated surgically by cutting the veins connected to the varicocele. However, surgery does not always improve fertility and is not recommended for most men, unless there is a large varicocele that can be easily felt.
Your immune system produces antibodies to fight foreign substances in the body like infectious diseases and, at times, those antibodies find their way to your reproductive system.
Anti-sperm antibodies aren’t common but both men and women can make them. When present, anti-sperm antibodies can make it harder for couples to have a baby. But it’s rare for antibodies by themselves to make it impossible to get pregnant.
In men, an infection in their prostate or an injury to their testicles can set off an immune response when the sperm comes in contact with blood. This can also happen after a testicle surgery like a vasectomy.