In order for the male partner to father a child he must first have capable function for intercourse – this is fuelled by the male hormone testosterone.
This gives the general feeling of well-being, sex drive, virility and an erection.
Causes of Male Infertility
Secondly, on ejaculation he must produce sperm that can swim to meet the egg that it needs to fertilise, this is called motility. The sperm also needs to be the correct shape to penetrate the egg, this called morphology.
In the majority of male infertility cases, the problem is genetic and the male partners sperm does not contain the genetic information for normal sperm production.
For men who have a low sperm count, assisted reproduction techniques such as ICSI can help them to fertilise an egg.
Other causes of male infertility can be a blockage that is not allowing sperm to leave the body during ejaculation. This can be because of a previous injury, a sexually transmitted disease, or a vasectomy.
Added to this, men can also make antibodies, which prevents their sperm from being able to stick to the egg and penetrate it for fertilization.
In other cases pituitary hormones in the brain can affect sperm count and this can be treated with hormone injections.
Even when very few or no sperm is found in the semen sample, it can still be possible to surgically extract sperm direct from the testes for assisted reproduction to be successful.
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