What is Male Infertility?

Male Infertility

Male Infertility is Widespread
Male infertility is a common cause for the inability of married couples to conceive. In most cases, the female is perfectly capable of conceiving while the male is unable to produce healthy sperm. The US National Institutes of Health has estimated that in nearly 50% of infertile couples, male infertility is the primary cause. In the male, sexual dysfunction, illness, or a treatable organic malfunction can be the cause of low sperm count or low sperm motility. In the other 50% of infertile couples, the male suffers from an untreatable condition that makes his infertility irreversible.

How Sperm Is Produced
Male sperm is produced in the testes and is the result of a series of cycles that result in the production of a single sperm. This organism contributes one half of the genetic code of the embryo, while the female egg contributes the other half. The sperm cell possesses its own power mechanism in the form of mitochondria to power its tail or flagellum that enables the sperm to swim its way to the female egg.

Semen Analysis
When the female is unable to conceive, the first reaction of the male is to assume that she is to blame. Often this is not the case and it is advisable that both male and female undergo fertility testing in order to determine the real cause of infertility. The male should undergo semen analysis to check both the quality and quantity of the sperm. In order to obtain a good quantity of sperm, the male should refrain from ejaculation for 2 to 3 days. Once the sample is obtained, it should be analyzed within one hour.

Results of the Analysis
These analyses would concentrate on motility of the sperm, motile form, appearance and white blood cell count. A count of 20 million per ml for a volume of 5 mls or less would be normal, while a 50% of progressive motile form would also be normal. For a more exact result, two samples should be analyzed. Some factors that can impede a correct analysis are a viral infection and a period of heavy alcohol intake. A low level of motility would make the sperm unable to reach the vagina, while an inadequate motile form would have the same effect.