In men with fertility problems, the quality of the semen is not good. As a result, the sperm cells do not reach the egg cell or do not reach it on time.
Causes Fertility Problems in Men
In about thirty percent of the couples who do not have a pregnancy, research shows that the cause is reduced sperm quality. Fertility problems in men can have several causes:
- Improperly descended testicles;
- A past inflammation of one or both testicles or epididymis;
- Previous chemotherapy or radiation;
- A varicose vein in the scrotum;
- Antibodies against sperm cells;
- Hormonal causes.
Factors Influencing Semen Quality
- alcohol consumption;
- too high a temperature in the testicles, for example due to hot baths, sauna visits, tight underwear;
- fever, this is a temporary effect;
- certain medications;
- working with chemical or radioactive substances, pesticides, lead, ionizing radiation (X-rays).
Research and diagnosis
We can determine a reduced semen quality by looking at:
- the amount of sperm cells;
- the motility of the sperm cells;
- the shape of the sperm cells.
The following examinations are possible to map fertility problems:
- Seed examination. We examine the seed in the laboratory. We look at the number of sperm cells, the motility and the shape of the sperm cells.
- Physical examination. In this examination we look for abnormalities of the genitals, hair and scars.
- Blood test.
- Ultrasound of the scrotum (scrotum).
Male fertility treatment
Research may show that the semen quality is moderate or poor. In most cases, we cannot improve semen quality with medication. A healthy diet, no smoking and moderate alcohol consumption is the only thing men can do themselves to optimize their sperm quality.
Hormone Injection and Testosterone Boosters
In a few cases, a hormonal abnormality is found to be the cause of the reduced sperm quality. For some, the use of testosterone boosters like testogen is recommended to the patient. But for complex cases, this can be treated by administering injections of the hormones that control the testes. The production of sperm cells takes about 70 days.
To initiate sperm production with hormones, a treatment with injections of at least six months is necessary. The injections are given three times a week and consist of a combination of FSH and hCG. The hormone FSH is to trigger sperm production. The hormone hCG is necessary for the production of the male hormone testosterone. After many months of treatment, the sperm quality can improve, resulting in spontaneous pregnancy opportunities.
After an instruction from the nurse at the outpatient clinic, the man can usually give himself the injections. During treatment, semen examinations are performed every few months to assess whether the semen quality is improving. The production of the hormone testosterone is also monitored.