Male Infertility Defined
A male is considered infertile if both he and his partner have been attempting to achieve a pregnancy for one year of regular intercourse without the use of contraception and still no joy. The woman is quite often blamed and undergoes unnecessary treatment and expenses but in actual fact, more often than not childless marriages are due to the fact than the man is infertile. 20 to 30 per cent of a man"s low fertility rate can sometimes be the main reason for a woman’s failure to conceive. It is still quite a taboo subject for a man and many do not address that they have a problem or even seek help as they believe that admitting it would make him the object of ridicule but it needn’t do because it is not only an extremely common problem and in 90% of cases it can be effectively treated.
Generally if you have been trying for a baby for under a year, it is not really a great cause for concern if nothing seems to be happening – It can take time to conceive a child and not at all unusual for it to take several months especially if it is a first born. This is perfectly acceptable in the medical world but less so for a couple who very much want a child, it can be very worrying and frustrating for both the man and the woman. If a year has gone by and you have still not managed to conceive, you are considered infertile, but the good news is that something can be done about it.
If you are being investigated for infertility, you will need to send a sample of your semen off for semen analysis. You should get the results within a few days. You have the option of having a simple screening test in the privacy of your own home if you would prefer not to wait for your GP to test you. It is a far more private and less stressful solution to what is for some quite an anxious time. The semen is screened for sperm count, sperm motility (percentage of active sperm) sperm morphology (shape of the sperm) or for other possible problems such as blood cells or white cells that can highlight damage or infection that could be a concluding factor to infertility.
If a man’s sperm count is less than 20 million per ml he is considered at risk of becoming infertile, if the sperm count is less than 500,000 per ml he is considered sterile and unable to father a child. The treatment for infertility depends largely on the results of the analysis.
Even if you have no real reason to fret about your fertility, It may be worth testing yourselves if you smoke very heavily, drink to excess, are a body builder or take performance enhancing drugs, if you have ever been exposed to harmful chemicals or elements at work and if you have ever had any kind of STD (sexually transmitted disease). If any of these apply to you, you could be at risk of suffering infertility and needing fertility treatment at some stage so if you are considering starting a family it is advised that you seek help as discovering these problems early can lead to prompt treatment and a successful pregnancy at the end of it.