Men can also be responsible for infertility problems.
Male sterility accounts for 20% of fertility problems..
Male infertility can be caused by a production of poor quality sperm, an insufficient sperm production or sperm that are not mobile enough:
- Oligospermia: sperm concentration below the threshold level of 20 million
- Azoospermia: sperm concentration well below normal
- Asthenospermia: the number of normal mobile sperm is below 50%
- Teratospermia: there is more than 50% of abnormal sperm which could be due to infections
- Aspermia: complete absence of sperm
Other causes of male infertility
There are many factors which can have a negative impact upon sperm, some of which are highlighted below:
- Testicle trauma or surgery
- Previous history of viral infections, especially mumps virus
- Sexually transmitted infections or testicular infections (orchitis)
- Excess alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Excess heat exposure
- Irradiation and certain drugs
- Retrograde ejaculation: sperm that is ejaculated inside and not out through the penis
- Varicocele (varicose veins of the testicle)
- Severe liver and kidney diseases
- Erectile dysfunction (problems with erections)
- Sperm antibodies: men can develop antibodies which destroy their own sperm
- Abnormal anatomy - for example, obstruction of any of the tubes through which sperm travel (epididymis or vas deferens)
- Klinefelter's syndrome - a genetic condition which gives rise to small testicles, azoospermia and gynaecomastia (enlargement of breast tissue).
- Undescended testes or cryptorchidism: absence of one or both testicles due to not descending into the scrotum during development as a foetus
Of note, no cause for infertility is found in either men or women in up to 25% of cases.
La esterilidad masculina