Causes and Treatments
Deciding to start a family is indeed one of the most exciting times in a couple's life. However, after a period of time if pregnancy does not occur the couple begins to think something is wrong with one of them or both and is the reason no pregnancy is occurring. In the instance it is male infertility the husband and wife will have their respective feelings regarding the situation. However, the couple should not give up hope because there are treatment options for the emotional effects of male infertility as well as treatment options to help a man regain fertility.
There are many possible causes of male infertility not all of which are devastating or irreversible. In fact, infertility is simply defined as a year of unprotected intercourse that did not result in a pregnancy. In general, in couples where fertility is not an issue conceiving a child in this period of time is normal. However, if conception does not occur within the one year time frame doctors generally recommend the man and women both have complete checkups to find the source of the problem. In male infertility sickness, hormones, laptop computers, sexual dysfunction, or some obstruction in the reproductive parts of the male may result in infertility. Some problems may be genetic while others not, however the quicker treatment is sought the higher the percentage that it will be effective.
In general, it takes two months for mature sperm to develop. So, if within a two month time frame the man was ill the resulting sperm may be affected resulting in problems conceiving. This is the reason doctors frequently ask at an appointment if you were sick within the last two months because sperm could be affected and the reason a pregnancy is not occurring. Also, long term illness can obviously affect the production and quality of sperm resulting in infertility until the illness can be cured and healthy sperm are produced and mature. Of course, when it comes to male infertility this type of situation is generally the exception to the rule. According to doctors and researchers, approximately half of the infertility problems married couples experience is a result of male infertility. Half of these men have permanent infertility and the other half have reversible infertility.
There are many things that might cause permanent or temporary male infertility including chemotherapy, infection, high blood pressure medications, infection and diseases, hormone problems, genetic defect and a wide variety of other causes. Of the treatable cases there are three types of common treatments including surgery, drugs, and assisted reproduction. Alternative treatments are also available which include sperm washing, sperm retrieval, in vitro fertilization, and electroejaculation among others. All of these alternative treatments are used to retrieve sperm from men and each treatment is successful with certain types of patients. Depending on your situation your doctor will be able to recommend the best procedure for you.
Of course, if these treatments do not work men can turn to naturopathic treatments which basically focus on the overall health of the man and his reproductive system. Eating whole foods, taking vitamins and supplements, as well as herbal remedies are ways to increase sperm production and motility and assist in the conception process. Of course, an overall healthy diet, exercise and avoiding alcohol will help a man create healthy sperm and this should be followed at all times even if other treatments are being sought.
While there are many procedures available to help the sperm and egg meet in order to conceive, there are also treatments available to help the couple with the emotional response they have to the often times frustrating roller coaster ride that results from trying to conceive despite male infertility.
Men, women, and couples support groups are a great way to relax, learn from others experiences, share your own, and simply talk about emotions rather than keeping them bottled up inside. This helps one deal with what is happening and receive support from others experiencing the same thing. Also, marriage therapy or individual counseling with a licensed professional may help the couple deal with male infertility and their frustrations with the process of trying to conceive as well as their fears that they will never become parents. Licensed professionals can also help the husband and wife accept the situation without passing blame and allow them to enjoy their relationship even if pregnancy is not achieved.