MEN'S HEALTH - MALE INFERTILITY
About one out of every six couples who desire children has an infertility problem. This means that infertility is almost as common as diabetes in America. The most generalized definition of infertility may be said to be the inability to beget a child after a year of regular intercourse without any kind of contraception. It generally takes one year to consider a couple or either one of the couple infertile. Infertility can be a problem for both men and women.
Historically, infertility has been considered a women's disease. It is only within the last fifty years that the importance of the male factor contribution to infertility has been recognized. The mistaken notion that infertility is associated with impotence or decreased masculinity may contribute to this fear. The good news is that the rapid research advances in the area of male reproduction have brought about dramatic changes in the ability to both diagnose and treat male infertility. The majority of couples suffering from infertility can now be helped to conceive a child on their own.
When the sample of a man’s semen is sent to the laboratory for infertility test, the volume, quality and consistency of the semen is also checked along with the sperm count. If a man’s sperm count is less than twenty million per milliliter then he is considered to be at a risk of being infertile; on the other hand and if a man’s sperm count is less than five million per milliliter then he is considered to be sterile.
Some risk factors for male infertility include:
- Age - Studies show that men older than 35 may begin a gradual decline in fertility.
- Drugs - Drug abuse causes a drop in fertility.
- Smoking - Studies show that when men quit smoking tobacco their fertility improves.
- Alcohol - Heavy alcohol use can cause a drop in testosterone levels, can cause erectile dysfunction, decrease sperm production and affect fertility.
- Weight - Being extremely overweight or underweight can cause a drop in sperm count, resulting in infertility.
- Pollution, Radiation and Exposure to Toxins -An exposure to heavy metals, industrial chemicals, radioactivity and other dangerous toxins can cause infertility.
- Disease - Men with diabetes, cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, sexually transmitted disease and other diseases may suffer infertility.
Our Integrative Approach
Good dietary measures apart from a regulated lifestyle devoid of alcohol and tobacco are major influences in reducing fertility problems. Avoiding sugar, fats, red meat and an excess of dairy products can help in reducing fertility problems.
- Medical treatment - This consists of the administration of certain drugs to improve seminal quality. Clomiphene citrate, mesterolone, tamoxifen, gonadotropin injections, antibiotics, steroids etc. are commonly used.
- Surgical treatment - Microsurgery in progress obstructions in the sperm conduction pathway, varicoceles, undescended testes etc. can be treated by operation. Modern microsurgical techniques are of great help. Even patients who have undergone a vasectomy in the past can have their vasectomy reversed and the tubes recanalised successfully using microsurgery.
Assisted reproduction - In many cases, neither medicines nor operations are of help. In such cases, an attempt is made in the reproductive laboratory to improve semen quality and facilitate the penetration of the sperm into the ovum. This includes sperm washing/capacitation, intra-uterine insemination (IUI), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and micro-manipulation (ICSI).
A complete evaluation and comprehensive review is completed for each patient. Our doctors and professionals will evaluate your results and will spend one on one time with you to interpret and explain your results. Together we will explore your goals and discuss your treatment plan options. These treatment plans can be implemented using multiple modalities such as medications, hormones, diet, supplements, behavior and lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies. Our doctors will prescribe a preventative and comprehensive treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and fits into your lifestyle.
Our team at The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine will regularly monitor your progress and track the effectiveness of your program making adjustments if necessary. Our goal is to support you and advise you every step of the way. We work in conjunction with your existing doctors to ensure the best possible care.
If you feel you may need help, please call our patient coordinator at 407 355 9246, or request an appointment on line for evaluation and testing.