Causes and treatment of male infertility
Infertility is a topical problem all over the world. Previously, if a couple did not have children, they were only blamed for the malfunction of the female reproductive system. However, infertility is quite common in men and in this case only examination of the woman and her treatment will not yield results. This time we will talk about the causes of male infertility and treatment methods with a qualified urologist.
– How long after the start of sexual intercourse can we talk about infertility? In our opinion, this is a very significant issue, because some, if not pregnant in the first month, start to get nervous, thus only hurting themselves, while some do not go to the doctor for years, treatment is delayed and, ultimately, in vain.
– A couple is considered infertile if a woman has not become pregnant within 12 months of unprotected sex, although some scientists extend this period to two years. Usually, the probability of getting pregnant in the first 6 months is 25%, and after one year – 90%. If the pregnancy did not occur even after 12 months, it still does not mean that the couple is childless, as there is a 23% chance of getting pregnant in the next 12 months and a 10% chance of getting pregnant after another year.
– How common is male infertility?
– In the case of infertile couples, the female factor is equal to 50%, the male factor – 30%, although recently this figure has increased sharply, and the combined factor is found in 20%. Therefore, during infertility, both men and women are examined at the same time to find out the cause.
– What causes male infertility?
– According to one of the largest surveys of 10,469 childless men, the reasons were as follows:
1. Idiopathic infertility (when the cause is unknown) – 31%;
2. Varicocele – 15.6%;
3. Hormonal disorders – 8.9%;
4. Urogenital tract infections – 8%;
5. Immunological factors – 4.5%.
– Based on the questions in the mailing address of the editorial office and on our website, we get the impression that varicocele is quite common in men. What can you tell us about that?
– The prevalence of varicocele is generally 20%, but of men who consult a doctor due to infertility, this disease is confirmed in 40%. Such a frequency of pathology and the high probability of its detection in infertile men raises the suspicion that varicocele is a direct cause of infertility. I partially agree with this opinion as well, since sperm counts improve by 50-80% within 6-12 months after successful treatment of varicocele.
– Why not at 100%?
– This is a completely fair question and the whole medical community working on the problem of infertility is looking for an answer to it. Let me tell you my opinion: the cases when infertility is directly the fault of varicocele should be identified.
– What parameters are based on the diagnosis of varicocele?
– There are different stages of varicocele and their solution is very individual. High-quality ultrasound equipment is required to diagnose varicocele, with the extensive experience and professionalism of a specialist in the field of examination, so all patients who come to us for infertility and varicocele, I personally conduct an ultrasound examination, which, in my opinion, is of fundamental importance.