Male Sterility

The condition in which a married couple finds it difficult to produce an offspring is called sterility .The defect may be either with the male partner or the female partner. These defects can be either organic or functional .In males the procreative factors is the sperm. It is produced in the testicles and ejaculated through the male genital organ during sexual intercourse. The production of sperm is regulated by hormones which are secreted by the ductless glands of the body .For the procreation of offspring the sperm should be active and they should be in sufficient numbers in the semen. Sometimes because of some morbidity, sperm is either absent in the semen or small in number. In such cases conception does not take place.

Causes

As far as the male causes of infertility are concerned, frequent assume an ingravescent character in the time and become decisive because of the current social tendency to procrastinate the search for the right moment for pregnancy.

Principle causes of male infertility

  • clinical varicocele 19.3% (=varicose veins of the testicles)
  • infection of the seminal tracts 14.7% (prostatitis, epididimitis, vescicolitis, urethritis etc)
  • testicular hypotrophy without evident causes 11% (reduction in the testicle development)
  • testicular retractibility, former or active 8.8% (=the testicles which come back to or up from the abdomen)
  • scrotal hypoplasia with a “high” location of the gonads 8.5% (=small testicle placed too close to the abdomen with a consequent augmentation of temperature)
  • infraclinical varicocele 7.3% (small varicose veins of the testicle)
  • environmental, professional, iatrogenic (that is, drug-related) damage 3.3%
  • former criptorchidism of one or both testicles (undescended testes) 2.7% (=testicles that do not descend in the scrotal sac at the moment of birth, which or is cured too late or not at all)
  • acquired obstruction of the seminal pathways [tracts] 0.6% (=inflammatory and infectious factors which compromise the perviousness of the seminal pathways impeding the leaking of spermatozoa from the testicles)
  • secondary hypogonadism (completed or strained form) 0.9% (=low level of testosterone from endocrinological causes)
  • dysgenic causes 0.3% (irreversible, from the chromosomes)
  • chriptorchidism 0.6% (=absence of testicle in the scrotal sac due to being retained in the abdomen)
  • immunological factors 0.6% (=presence of antibodies against the spermatozoa often after local infections which take place for a long time without diagnosis)

Environmental Factors

  • Pesticides which are extremely harmful to sperm production, have also been discovered in the flesh of Polar Bears in the South Pole. This serves to demonstrate how homogenically diffuse they are in the food chain throughout the planet.
  • Estrogens are always used in the raising of slaughter house animals: this does not create a problem in the female animal but an excessive amount of estrogen in the male produces damage to the development of the testicle and its spermatogenesis (sperm production).
  • Current sexual habits bring a considerable increase in minor genital infections (prostatitis, vescicolitis, and urethritis) from common germs. This may not bring full-blown venereal disease but if neglected and made chronic, it carries obstructive damage to the female tubes and to the male seminal vescicles.
  • According to some, the many hours of driving that we are used to, the excess fat in our diet, and the sedentary lifestyle, and are responsible for the augmentation of chronic, prostate, and inflammatory pathologies so frequently present in the infertile male as well as in the absence of certain infection.
  • Cigarette smoke carries a direct and progressive harm to the motility of the spermatozoa; it has been amply documented from hundreds of written studies.

Therapy

Therapy obviously comes from the diagnosis. There are pharmacological as well as surgical therapies which, if applied well, are capable of resolving most male cases and lead to an improvement of the seminal parameters. One must consider that the most frequent sterile couple is one in which there is a small male factor and a small female one; put together, these factors may induce sterility.

Assisted Reproduction

The male situation in which assisted fertilisation is suggested or in which it is not possible to apply a simple therapy anymore: The most frequent cases are characterised by a big reduction in the quantity of spermatozoa which is not susceptible to therapy or walls of the seminal paths in which the spermatozoa must be taken directly from the testicle are obstructed. Naturally also, when this recurs with assisted fecundity for female causes, the male must be studied and yield to a therapy to obtain the maximum quality of seminal samples which can be used in the reproductive laboratory.

Sources: Allayurveda, Andrologia

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