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Common causes of fertility problems in men -

Blockages

A small percentage of men have a blockage in their ejaculatory duct that prevents sperm from getting into their ejaculate fluid. If your vas deferens or epididymis tubes are blocked or damaged, they can prevent your sperm from getting to your partner's egg. Infection, injury, congenital defects, or a vasectomy could cause this blockage.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: surgery to repair an obstruction or reverse the vasectomy

•  Success rates: Depending on the problem and the type of surgery used to treat it, about 50 to 90 percent of men have more sperm in their semen after surgery. About 20 to 65 percent of couples can conceive either through intercourse or with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Varicocele

Varicocele (enlarged veins, similar to varicose veins, in the scrotum) raise the temperature in the testes, which may affect sperm production.

•  Possible symptoms: None. (The problem can be detected through a physical exam.)

•  Possible solutions: surgery to repair the varicocele

•  Success rates: Up to 43 percent of men impregnate their partner within a year of surgery, and up to 69 percent do so within two years.

Irregular sperm

If you have little to no sperm, poor sperm motility (its ability to move), or abnormally shaped sperm, your sperm may not be able to fertilize your partner's eggs on its own.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: fertility drugs; artificial insemination with donor sperm or with your own if your count, shape, and motility are not too abnormal; or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

•  Success rates: When fertility drugs to increase egg production are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. The success rate is about 30 percent per cycle with ICSI.

Sperm allergy

Your body can develop antibodies that kill your own sperm, most commonly after a vasectomy, testicular torsion (where the testicle twists inside the scrotum), infection, or trauma.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: Artificial insemination, assisted reproductive technologies (ART), or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).(Steroid drugs such as prednisone are sometimes used to suppress sperm antibodies, but many doctors don't recommend them because of side effects.)

•  Success rates: When fertility drugs to increase egg production are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. The success rate is about 30 percent per cycle with ICSI

Unexplained fertility problems

Your doctor may diagnose you with an "unexplained fertility problem" if he can't pinpoint the cause of your trouble conceiving. Some experts think environmental toxins may be contributing factors, but no direct links between fertility and these possible problems have been confirmed.

•  Possible symptoms: none

•  Possible solutions: fertility drugs combined with artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)

•  Success rates: When fertility drugs to increase egg production are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. About 20 to 40 percent of cycles result in a pregnancy with IVF. After three years of treatment, the chance that a couple will conceive decreases by about 20 to 25 percent each year.

Combination fertility problems

A couple is said to have "combination" fertility problems when both the man and the woman have a fertility problem.

•  Possible symptoms: Symptoms vary, depending on causes.

•  Possible solutions: Treatments vary, depending on causes.

•  Success rates: Rates vary, depending on causes.

Read Common Causes of Fertility Problems in Women ....

 
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