Male Subfertility

Dr. Aruna Ashok

What is Subfertility?
We assume Infertility and Subfertility to be the same but they are two different terms. Infertility is the inability to conceive naturally and Subfertility is the delay in conceiving. In Subfertility, there is a possibility of conceiving naturally but it takes a little longer than usual conceiving.
 
Major causes of Subfertility in men
  • Subfertility is common and affects one in 20 men.
  • Idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia is the commonest cause of male subfertility. Though sexual function is normal, there is a reduced sperm count.
  • Sexual dysfunction and abnormal semen quality are the major factors that cause Subfertility in men. In these patients there are multiple sperm defects, usually of unknown origin.
  • Abnormal sperm production or function can cause subfertility. This can be caused by a number of conditions and factors, including gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV, diabetes, mumps, cancer and cancer treatment, enlarged veins in the testes, called varicocele and genetic defects.
  • Problems with the delivery of sperm can make it difficult to conceive. This can be caused by a number of things, including genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, premature ejaculation, injury or damage to the testes, structural defects, such as blockage in the testicle.
 
Diagnosing Subfertility in men
 
Some of the tests include
  • Semen analysis
  • Blood tests to determine hormone levels, including testosterone
  • Imaging tests, such as testicular ultrasound
  • Genetic testing to check for genetic defects that can affect fertility
  • Testicular biopsy to identify abnormalities, but mostly done as therapeutic procedure to avoid two surgical procedures.
 
Treatments for Subfertility in men
  • Treatment options for men may involve treating sexual health problems
  • Surgery to repair a varicocele or blockage, only in specified scenarios
  • Medications to improve testicular function, includes sperm count and quality
  • Sperm retrieval techniques to obtain sperm in males who have problems ejaculating or when ejaculated fluid doesn’t contain sperm.
  • We have advanced techniques like Micro TESE which can handle testicular tissues very delicately and also improve the sperm retrieval rate to the maximum.
Foods that improve sperm health
  • Fish High concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in fishes helps in sperm motility
  • Fruits and veggies Plant-based whole foods are high in anti-oxidants such as co-enzyme Q10, vitamin C, and lycopene.
  • Walnuts help in significant improvement in sperm vitality.
  • Fig, Fenugreek, Banana, Pumpkin seeds, Moringa flowers and Avocado help in improving sperm health.
 
Some lifestyle changes that will help men to overcome Subfertility
  • The foremost important way to increase sperm quality is Alternate Day Ejaculation , either by intercourse or Masturbation which helps in New Sperm Production.
  • Must avoid smoking, which can affect male fertility.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, as being underweight or overweight can affect fertility.
  • Exercising regularly helps in maintaining the physical and hormonal balance.
  • Avoiding excessive heat, such as saunas, which can affect sperm production and motility. You can cool down yourself by sitting in a tub of cold water twice a day for 10-15 minutes.
  • Speaking to a doctor about medications they are taking, as some of these medications may affect fertility.

 

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