Causes And Treatments For Male Infertility

Cindy Heller asked:

Infertility is often thought as related to female but the facts are otherwise as up to fifty percent of the causes are due to male. From the underlying statistics, it is essential for the male to get tested as much as it is for the female. It could put men in a very compromising and embarrassing situation but early testing can save the women a lot of unnecessary pain and provide the couples with ready and definite answers to their infertility.

Many solutions are available for men who are infertile and you just need to know where to seek help. For conception to take place, the male have to be able to fertilize the egg in the right manner. If this does not take place, the causes are numerous and varied, therefore seeking solutions and treatments are essential in order for the couples to conceive.

There are wide varieties of treatment choices that can be found in today context and whichever treatments are dependable on the kind of infertility problems that you are encountering. In order for the right kind of treatments to be applied, you and your physician have to understand the type of infertility problem you are facing.

The infertility cause has to be indentified and not some unknown causes. Once the cause is found, the physician will have to determine how defective the sperm is and then the age of the female partner. Upon determination, the course of male infertility treatment can begin.

Certain causes of infertility are because of problems with the sperm and the seminal fluid or what is known as the reproductive organs. Generally there are definite causes and the right male infertility treatments are applied. A very widespread cause of male infertility is Varicocele and it is the result of problem with the varicose veins that are located in the path of the spermatic journey.

The varicose veins will be bigger than usual and do not dilate like before and there are a few signs to look out for. One of the symptoms is bigger than usual dilated veins that are found in the scrotum. Another symptom is a big swell, protuberance or inflammation on the scrotum area that is unproblematic.

Some do not show any signs but for those problems, get an examination and remove the blockages to let the blood to flow normally. Surgical procedure is also used to repair the problem veins. With that the rate of pregnancy can be up to forty percent and it can take place in nine month after undergoing the treatment.

Another common problem is low sperm count and it is known as oligiospermis. With that a test will be carried out to determine the right sperm count, in addition to seeking out abnormality in shape and movement of the sperm. For those with low sperm count, wearing loose clothing, doing on diet, abstaining from smoking and stop taking hot bath and saunas will be helpful. Absence of sperm is known as azoospermia but most issues can be treated if the right infertility treatment is applied.

For that form of male infertility treatment, an infertility pill known as Clomiphene citrate is used to stimulate the production of sperm in male as well as assisting the female to ovulate. Such treatment will greatly improve the sperm count in six months but there is a need to re-examine once every three months.

Besides that, a few changes in your behavior can be effective, such as lesser intercourse for low sperm count to make certain that the sperm is increase dramatically in the ensuing period.

One of the better treatments for male infertility is through artificial insemination where the sperm and eggs are taken out with the fertilization occurring outside the womb. It is usually for those with low sperm count as just one sperm is needed to be injected to the egg. The age of the female will also be a determining factor as women get older; the success rate is much lower. On the other hand a combination of infertility treatment can be effective.

Seek the help of the health care providers for your male infertility problem and with the right type of treatments and the proper diagnosis, conception can occur. With so many diverse treatment options available, the percentage of conceiving is greatly enhanced. If all else fail, there is always adoption and the joy you bought forth to the orphaned child can greatly compensate your inability to conceive.

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Options For Infertility Finances

Cindy Heller asked:

Infertility financial aid is an option that couples considering infertility will need to consider. Infertility treatments can be very costly depending on the type of treatments that you have selected as well as the amount of times the treatment needs to be repeated. An average estimate is that a series of treatments including over the counter prescriptions will cost a few thousands at least. You may or may not be able to pay for it out of your own funds. This is where the infertility financial aid programs come into view. Financial aid will give you more options to choose what sort of treatment plans you intend to take.

Infertility Financial Aid Options

A fair amount of couples will realize that the cost of infertility treatments is way beyond their means. The fact many don’t have a comprehensive medical plan that provides for these treatments only makes the issue worse. You may find that your specific infertility clinic has a financial aid advisor that can help you get the support you need. Make sure that you do some research into all options before settling on one. In fact many labs have special aid plans that they offer. Certain states also have a public fund that couples can tap on.

In-vitro-fertilization Refund Program.

This specific infertility financial aid allows you to have a certain number of IVF cycles done and will repay you for those cycles if you do not get pregnant and have a child within a specific time frame. Should you fail to conceive within the stipulated timeline, close to 75% of your money will be refunded. Guidelines and apply and there are certain pre-qualifying guidelines. For example, you may have to fall under certain age groups, minimum number of cycles to undergo before getting refund, restriction on type of services covered, and any aid that may already be in place for the couple will be discounted.

There are a whole range of other infertility financial aid options. For example, unsecured loans, medical benefits, or even from public funding. For the wiser couple who had planned in advance, there are a whole range of insurance products that can assist you in covering the cost of medical bills.

Infertility Insurance – Paying for a certainty

Infertility insurance can be a piece of good fortune to couples that are not able to conceive and need infertility treatments. Certain prerequisites are necessary of the couple before they are regarded for the infertility insurance. In vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination are two clinical methods that are commonly used to treat infertility without infertility insurance, they are very expensive. If the couple requires a combination of treatment methods it can get very expensive. Also factor in the cost of medication and therapy, this are also sunk costs that have to be covered.

Insurance And Coverage

Many insurance companies offer the insured some form of coverage along with their basic medical insurance to cover for infertility treatments. Delve into the policy you hold to find out exactly what type of insurance coverage you have. Pay attention to the type of treatments covered and also the amount of times per treatments.

Certain credit facilities actually offer a medical attachment to their credit lines. So do check with your bank if you have a line of credit. Most clinics have links to insurers or credit houses that will provide a sort of coverage for couples seeking treatment.

The Need For Supplemental Infertility Insurance

Supplemental infertility insurance is a boon to those that have it. For couples that find that they are infertile and realize the cost of treatments, supplemental infertility insurance will cover part of that cost. Supplemental insurance is usually very affordable and it basically adds on to your basic coverage. Different insurers will provide coverage, so check carefully and do not assume on your protection.

Supplemental Infertility Insurance

Infertility affects millions of people world wide yearly. In the case of North America, different states have different laws that subject the payouts and claims for medical insurance. Therefore certain procedures might not be claimable in the area where you live in. Medical insurance has come a long way, especially in view of the rising cost of good health care. Infertility treatment is no different, as it is a subset of a medical issue.

As the rising cost of treatments take place, insurers have become more creative in their efforts to market their products.

Bear in mind that insurance companies are out to make profits as well, so the policies that they offer you will be more expensive depending on your general health condition.

A good rule of thumb is to pick up a good basic medical policy when young. Ensure that your basic policy is something that allows you to add on benefits to it no matter how long since inception. This will help keep premiums down in the long run.

Do remember, to keep costs of treatments low, have as much insurance coverage as possible.

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Causes of Infertility in Men

Adam Khan asked:

An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of male infertility.

Age

The effect of aging on male fertility is not totally clear. However, growing evidence suggests that it may be a factor (although not to the extent that it is in women). This evidence indicates that age-related sperm changes in men are not abrupt, but are a gradual process. Aging can adversely affect sperm counts and sperm motility (the sperm’s ability to swim quickly and move in a straight line). A 2006 study also suggested that the genetic quality of sperm declines as a man ages. The researchers found that poor sperm motility was associated with DNA fragmentation. This led to some older men having an increased risk of passing on gene mutations that cause dwarfism and possibly other genetic diseases.

Temporary and Lifestyle Causes of Low Sperm Count

Nearly any major physical or mental stress can temporarily reduce sperm count. Some common conditions that lower sperm count, temporarily in nearly all cases, include:

Emotional Stress. Stress may interfere with the hormone GnRH and reduce sperm counts.

Sexual Issues. In less than 1% of cases, impotence, premature ejaculation, or psychological or relationship problems contribute to male infertility, although these conditions are usually very treatable. Lubricants used with condoms, including spermicides, oils, and Vaseline, can affect fertility. Astroglide, Replens, or mineral oil may not be as harmful to sperm. However, oil-based lubricants can damage latex condoms and should be avoided.

Testicular Overheating. Overheating, such as from high fevers, saunas, and hot tubs, may temporarily lower sperm count. Persistent exposure to high temperatures during work may impair fertility. Several studies have found no negative effects on fertility from wearing tight trousers, briefs, or athletic supports, even every day.

Substance Abuse. Cocaine or heavy marijuana use appears to temporarily reduce the number and quality of sperm by as much as 50%. Sperm actually have receptors for certain compounds in marijuana that may impair the sperm’s ability to swim and also inhibit their ability to penetrate the egg. Alcohol does not appear to affect fertility, unless it is so abused that it causes liver damage.

Smoking. Smoking impairs sperm motility, reduces sperm lifespan, and may cause genetic changes that affect the offspring. One 2002 trial found that men or women who smoke have lower success rates with assisted reproductive technologies. An earlier study reported that men who smoke also have lower sex drives and less frequent sex.

Malnutrition and Nutrient Deficiencies. Deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, and folate, may be particular risk factors for infertility

Obesity. Obesity may be a risk factor for male infertility. A 2006 epidemiological study found that a 20-pound increase in a man’s weight increased the chance for infertility by about 10 percent.

Bicycling. Exercise Bikes or Bicycling has been linked to impotence in men and also may affect fertility. Pressure from the bike seat may damage blood vessels and nerves that are responsible for erections. Mountain biking, which involves riding on off-road terrain, exposes the perineum (the region between the scrotum and the anus) to more extreme shocks and vibrations and increases the risk for injuries to the scrotum. One study found that men who mountain bike are far more likely to have scrotal abnormalities, including calcium deposits, cysts, and twisted veins. Men who cycle can reduce such risks by:

Taking frequent rests while biking

Wearing padded bike shorts

Using a padded or specially contoured bike seat that is raised high enough and sits at the proper angle

Genetic Factors

Problems in the genes that regulate male fertility and in the genetic material of sperm itself are important contributors to infertility problems in men. In fact, even in men with no known fertility problems, 19% of the sperm are genetically defective. Certain inherited medical conditions also contribute to male infertility. Defective genes themselves can be inherited, produced by environmental assaults (such radiation exposure), or both. Of some concern is the possibility that these mutations will be passed to offspring in men who undergo fertilization techniques that retrieve sperm and directly fertilize the egg. (Under natural conditions, genetically abnormal sperm would be very unlikely to reach and fertilize the egg.)

Defective Genetic Material. Sperm carry half the genetic material necessary to make a human being. Infertile men have been reported to have a relatively high percentage of sperm with broken or damaged DNA (the molecular chain that makes up a gene).

Genetic Factors Specifically Affecting Sperm Production or Quality. Abnormalities in genes that specifically regulate sperm production and quality are major factors in male infertility. Some research suggests that about 10% of cases of male infertility may be due to problems, most likely genetic, in the acrosome. The acrosome is the enzyme-filled membrane cap on the sperm — its warhead — that is critical for piercing the egg. In one study, pregnancy was impaired if 7% or more of sperm had abnormalities in the acrosome.

Inherited Disorders that Affect Fertility. Certain inherited disorders can impair fertility. Examples include:

Cystic fibrosis patients often have missing or obstructed vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm). In fact, men whose infertility is caused by an inborn missing vas deferens have a 60% chance that they carry the gene for cystic fibrosis (even if they don’t have the disease itself).

Klinefelter syndrome patients carry two X and one Y chromosomes (the norm is one X and one Y), which leads to the destruction of the lining of the seminiferous tubules in the testicles during puberty, although most other male physical attributes are unimpaired.

Kartagener syndrome, a rare disorder that is associated with a reversed position of the major organs, also includes immotile cilia (hair-like cells in lungs and sinuses that have a structure similar to the tails of sperm). Sperm motility may also be impaired by this condition.

Polycystic kidney disease, a relatively common genetic disorder that causes large cysts to form on the kidneys and other organs during adulthood, may cause infertility as the first symptom if cysts develop in the reproductive tract.

Environmental Assaults

Exposure to toxins, chemicals, or infections may reduce sperm count either by direct effects on testicular function or by altering hormone systems, although the extent of the impact and specific environmental assaults involved are often controversial. Some experts believe it is contributing to a general worldwide decline in male fertility.

Free Radicals (Oxidants). The primary suspects in the link between environmental assaults and infertility are free radicals, also called oxidants. These are unstable molecules, usually containing oxygen, that are released as a by-product of many natural chemical processes in the body. Infections, chemicals, and other environmental assaults can produce high levels of these particles. High levels may even affect the genetic material in cells. Sperm are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of this oxidation process. There have been reports that significant levels of oxidants occur in the semen of about 25% of infertile men.

Exposure to Estrogen-Like and Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals. European studies have increasingly reported a worsening in male reproductive health and an increase in testicular and prostate cancers. Many investigators strongly suspect environmental causes, particularly excessive chemicals that disrupt hormones, as a major cause for both these events. Estrogen-like chemicals found in pesticides and other chemicals are of particular concern. Overexposure to estrogen in male animals reduces the number of Sertoli cells (the cells necessary for the initial development of sperm). Some hormone-disrupting chemicals under investigation include:

Treatment of prostate cancer varies depending on the stage of the cancer and may include surgical removal, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal manipulation or a combination of these treatments.

Bisphenol A is a widely used chemical found in plastic food containers and bottles that has provoked concern. It has potent estrogen-like effects in low dose. Use of the chemical in female rats has produced prostate abnormalities in their male offspring.

Phthalates, chemicals used to soften plastics, are under particular scrutiny for their ability to disrupt hormones. Specific phylates of special concern include dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is found in many products, including cosmetics and clay products sold to children (Fimo, Sculpey). Animals exposed to phylates have significantly impaired sperm count and abnormalities in their reproductive structures, such as the testes. In addition, there is some concern that exposure in pregnant women may affect the offspring,

Organochlorines are compounds that combine chlorine and organic substances — usually petrochemicals. Many have estrogen-like effects, including those previously used to make plastics (PCBs) and pesticides (DDT and p,p-DDE). Some, such as dioxins and furans, are byproducts of many chemical processes. Fortunately, most of these chemicals have been banned, but they were heavily used in manufacturing before 1970 and are still widespread in the environment. Studies report that when men had a history of moderate or high on-the-job exposure to pesticides containing organochlorines, their fertility rates were lower than men without such exposures. Studies have found a strong correlation between high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or p,p-DDE with reduced sperm quality and quantity. In one of the studies, even men with healthy sperm with high organochlorine levels had a lower sperm count than those with lower levels of these compounds.

Most evidence on the hormone of chemical estrogens has occurred in animals and birds. Tests of single chemicals containing estrogen have reported little danger for people. Some studies suggest, however, that exposure to more than one of these chemicals may be very harmful. At this time, there is no strong evidence supporting a serious harmful effect in people who have normal exposure to these chemicals. Major efforts are underway to determine the extent of any possible harm from these chemicals.

Hydrocarbons and Other Industrial Chemicals. In a 2000 study, workers in a rubber factory who were chronically exposed to hydrocarbons (ethylbenzene, benzene, toluene, and xylene) had lower than average sperm counts and sperm qualities. (In a 2001 study, men who smoked and worked in petrochemical plants had particularly poor sperm quality.) Still, not all major studies have confirmed the effects of these chemicals, and evidence showing any significant effect on fertility is weak.

Exposure to Heavy Metals. Chronic exposure to heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, or arsenic may affect sperm quality. Trace amounts of these metals in semen seem to inhibit the function of enzymes contained in the acrosome, the membrane that covers the head of the sperm.

Radiation Treatments. X-rays and other forms of radiation affect any rapidly dividing cell, so cells that produce sperm are quite sensitive to radiation damage. Cells exposed to significant levels of radiation may take up to 2 years to resume normal sperm production and, in severe circumstances, may never recover.

Low Semen Levels

Men with fertility problems because of low semen levels when they ejaculate may have a structural abnormality in the tubes transporting the sperm. (A normal amount of semen is 2.5 – 5 mL, or about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon.)

Varicocele

A varicocele is an abnormally enlarged and twisted (varicose) vein in the spermatic cord that connects to the testicle. Varicoceles are found in 15 – 20% of all men and in 25 – 40% of infertile men, although it is not clear how or even if they affect fertility. They tend to occur more commonly (85%) on the left side. Some theories supporting their possible effect on infertility include:

Varicoceles may partially obstruct the passages through which sperm pass.

Varicoceles may elevate temperature in the testes.

Varicoceles may produce higher levels of nitric oxide, a substance that has beneficial effects on blood flow and other functions but which might, in excess, injure sperm.

Varicoceles may block oxygen supply to the sperm.

Varicoceles have been associated with abnormalities in cellular material in the sperm. One study suggested that some men may have genetic defects that cause both varicoceles and impaired sperm, rather than the varicocele itself causing infertility.

Some reports indicate that only varicoceles that are large enough to be felt (or palpable ) may impact fertility. On the other hand, however, an 8-year study of men with and without varicoceles found no differences in sperm quality or in the ability to conceive. Furthermore, the few well-conducted studies on repair of varicoceles suggest that the procedure does not improve pregnancy rates. Their effect on fertility remains unclear.

Testosterone Deficiencies and Hypogonadism.

Hypogonadism is the general name for a severe deficiency in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the primary hormone that signals the process leading to the release of testosterone and other important reproductive hormones. Low levels of testosterone from any cause may result in defective sperm production.

Hypogonadism is uncommon and is most often present at the time of birth, usually the result of rare genetic diseases affecting the pituitary gland that may include selective deficiencies of the hormones FSH and LH, Kallman syndrome, or panhypopituitarism, in which the pituitary gland fails to make almost all hormones. It can also develop later in life from brain or pituitary gland tumors or as a result of radiation treatments. Defects in the gene on the X chromosome that regulates receptors that bind to androgens (male hormone) may also prove to be very important causes of male infertility.

Autoantibodies

Autoimmunity is a condition in which antibodies of the immune system attack specific cells in the body, mistaking them for foreign microinvaders. In the case of male infertility, these so-called autoantibodies (“self” antibodies) target the sperm. Antibodies bind to specific parts of the sperm, such as the head or tail and, depending on the site of attachment, cause various problems:

Sperm may stick together (agglutinate)

They may fail to interact with cervical mucous

They may be unable to penetrate the egg

Some experts believe that in most cases the presence of these antibodies will not prevent conception unless a large percentage of sperm are affected.

Vasectomy and Anti-Sperm Antibodies. Vasectomy, the primary sterility procedure in men, is the most common cause of sperm autoantibodies (also called anti-sperm antibodies). Experts believe their typical development is as follows:

Vasectomy works by severing the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra (which leads out of the penis).

After vasectomy, sperm continue to be produced but, instead of being confined to the reproductive passages, they leak out into the body.

Here, the immune system may perceive them as foreign invaders and develop antibodies to attack them.

Such antibodies often persist, even if a man restores sperm flow by a successful reversal procedure (vasovasostomy). The persistence of anti-sperm antibodies may result in infertility.

Other Causes of Autoantibodies. Antibodies to sperm can also appear in men without previous vasectomies and have been reported to be present in 10% of all men with fertility problems. They may be linked to genital infections or injury, although the cause is usually not known.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when the muscles of the urethra do not pump properly during orgasm and sperm are forced backward into the bladder instead of forward out of the urethra. Sperm quality is often impaired.

Retrograde ejaculation can be the consequence of several conditions:

Surgery to the lower part of the bladder or prostate (the most common cause of retrograde ejaculation)

Diabetes

Multiple sclerosis

Back surgery

Spinal cord injury

Medications such as tranquilizers, certain antipsychotics, or hypertension medications also may cause temporary retrograde ejaculation.

Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome and Other Physical or Structural Abnormalities

Any structural abnormalities that affect the testes, tubes, or other reproductive structures can have a profound effect on fertility.

Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome. Testicular dysgenesis syndrome is a recently observed occurrence of three conditions — impaired sperm production and quality, testicular cancer, and genital tract abnormalities. Environmental factors that increase damage from oxidants are believed to be responsible.

The genital abnormalities identified with this syndrome are undescended testes and hypospadias, each of which is associated with infertility:

Undescended Testes (Cryptorchidism). In some cases, there is a failure of the testes to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum during fetal life. Cryptorchidism is associated with mild to severe impairment of sperm production. In one survey, 38% of men who as youngsters had two undescended testicles and 10% of men with one undescended testicle were infertile, compared with 5% of men who had normal testes. Even one undescended testicle may impair fertility. In cryptorchidism, the testes are exposed to the higher internal body heat, but this may not totally explain the damage in sperm production that can occur. (Men who suffer from this condition should be aware that even if the testicle is surgically moved to the scrotum, their risk of testicular cancer is significantly increased, warranting careful self-exams and regular follow-up with a doctor.)

Hypospadias. This is a birth defect in which the urinary opening is on the underside of the penis, can prevent sperm from reaching the cervix if not surgically corrected. 

Blockage in the Tubes that Transport Sperm. Some men are born with a blockage in the epididymis or ejaculatory ducts or other problems that later affect fertility. One center reported that 2% of men seeking treatment had no vas deferens.

Anorchia. In the very rare condition known as anorchia, a man is born without any testes.

Syringomyelia . This is a disease of the spinal cord that results in no ejaculate at all (aspermia).

Cancer and Its Treatments

Birth rates among cancer survivors are only 40 – 85% of normal rates. Certain cancers, particularly testicular cancer, impair sperm production, often severely. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can damage sperm quality and quantity, causing infertility. The closer radiation treatments are to reproductive organs, the higher the risk for infertility. Fortunately, while men may fail to produce sperm for as long as 5 years after radiation therapy, many men eventually recover their sperm production ability. Chemotherapy with drugs that harm reproductive function tends to affect fertility more severely in men than in women. New drug regimens are helping to improve fertility rates.

Adolescents and adult men undergoing cancer treatments who may want to father children should consider banking and freezing their sperm for later use in assisted reproductive therapies. This technique is called sperm cryopreservation. Sperm cryopreservation is recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as the method with the highest likelihood of success for male cancer survivors. However, these banking methods are not appropriate for pre-adolescent boys being treated for childhood cancers such as leukemia. Researchers are investigating ways that stem cell transplantation may someday help these children regain their fertility while avoiding leukemia relapse.

Infections

There is some controversy over the effect of infections on infertility. Simply detecting the presence of an infection in infertile men does not necessarily mean that it has any relationship to the infertility itself. Some experts believe that the immune response to some infections may release inflammatory factors and oxidants, chemically unstable particles that can damage sperm. The exact impact of this process on sperm is unclear, however. Infections may alter the liquidity of semen and sperm motility, although these are likely to be temporary effects. Among the infections most implicated in infertility are:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Repeated Chlamydia trachomatis or gonorrhea infections are most often associated with male infertility. Such infections can cause scarring and block sperm passage. Human papillomaviruses, the cause of genital warts, may also impair sperm function.

Mycoplasma. Mycoplasma is an infectious organism that appears to fasten itself to sperm cells and render them less motile.

Mumps. When mumps develops after puberty, it damages the testicles in 25% of men afflicted with the disease. (Interferon, an anti-viral drug, may help prevent infertility in adult males with active mumps, but the drug is highly toxic and caution is essential.)

Glandular Infections in the Urinary Tract or Genitals. Glandular infections that may affect fertility include prostatitis (in the prostate gland), orchitis (in the testicle), semino-vesculitis (in the glands that produce semen), or urethritis (in the urethra), perhaps by altering sperm motility. Even after successful antibiotic treatment, infections in the testes may leave scar tissue that blocks the epididymis.

Other Conditions Associated with Infertility

Medical Conditions. Other medical conditions that can affect male fertility include any severe injury or major surgery, diabetes, HIV, thyroid disease, Cushing syndrome, heart attack, liver or kidney failure, and chronic anemia.

Medications

The effects of medications on sperm quality and count have not been rigorously studied, and many medicines are commonly prescribed without knowing whether they impair fertility. Anabolic steroids (which are often abused by weight lifters and other athletes) deserve special notice because they are known to severely impair sperm production. Among the other drugs that can affect male fertility are cimetidine (Tagamet), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), salazopyrine, colchicine, methadone, methotrexate (Folex), phenytoin (Dilantin), corticosteroids, spironolactone (Aldactone), thioridazine (Mellaril), and calcium channel blockers.

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Reasons For Infertility – The Most Common Issues

Dean Caporella asked:

When trying to come up for the reasons for infertility a couple can quickly develop a negative mindset and begin to blame many circumstances. One of the main things they need to concentrate on is to stay positive and believe their time will come.

It’s only in the case of unexplained infertility cases where answers aren’t available that perhaps some tags such as unfair can be bandied about. Still, staying positive will keep your emotions in check and more importantly, keep a relationship on track.

Reasons For Infertility

Let’s examine some of the reasons someone may be infertile. In women, the obvious reason may be age. The older a woman gets then the less likely she is of becoming pregnant. In fact, fertility starts to decline as early as the 30’s and once a woman reaches forty, the odds are starting to be stacked against her.

Age brings with it natural changes in a woman’s ovaries and eggs. Eggs in particular diminish in quality with age not to mention in quantity. There is also no guarantee the ovaries will produce eggs on a regular basis as she gets older. Then comes the onset of menopause and if a child hasn’t been conceived by then, she’s run her race.

Other factors such as drinking, alcohol and other substance abuse is known to contribute to the quantity and quality of eggs produced each month by the ovaries.

Male Infertility

When looking for reasons for infertility in men, the most common factor is the quality, quantity and life span of his sperm. Sperm count can be affected in many ways and as with women, any abuse of substances such as alcohol, drugs and smoking can seriously impact the quality of a man’s sperm.

Other issues such as malformed sperm, erectile problems, ejaculation or issues with their ejaculation ducts can all play a part in infertility issues.

Other Issues

Other reasons for infertility have to do with health issues. Reproductive organs which are compromised because of diseases and conditions will seriously impact the ability to conceive. Fallopian tubes, the pathway for the eggs to make their way into the uterus, can be blocked.

Hormone issues are another area of concern. This affects both men and women and can either lead to infertility in women or have impotence repercussions in men.

We’ve presented just a few possible reasons for infertility but there are many more issues which can delay or prevent conception. This is one of the reasons why it sometimes takes years to get to the bottom of the problem. Conception is a delicate process and both men and women need to be functioning in the right alignment for it to take place.

Just one problem in either can cause issues. Good news is, in the majority of infertility cases, the problem is eventually sorted out through thorough testing procedures and that’s why you should never be discouraged at the first sign of infertile issues.

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Does Male Infertility Treatment Exist

Leokadia Angela asked:

It’s a common myth these days that infertility is simply a woman’s problem. Because the woman is responsible for pregnancy, people often think that conception is completely her project as well. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and if you are a couple experiencing problems while trying to get pregnant, you owe it to yourselves to understand the truth about male infertility. After all, to ignore this issue is to waste valuable time that could be spent correcting it and addressing it properly.

How common is male infertility?

When a couple is having problems conceiving, it’s believed that the problem is usually 50/50, in other words, it’s equally likely that the problem is male infertility as it is the woman’s infertility. About 1 in 10 couples that try to conceive have difficulty, so you can understand just how common this issue is with men.

What are the common causes of male infertility?

Most people have heard that low sperm count is one of the common reasons for male infertility, but there are others; additionally, there are reasons why a man’s sperm count may be low. For example, smoking causes much damage to the reproductive system in a man, and can interfere with his sperm production. Trauma to the genital region or testicles, such as an injury or accident, can also interfere with his sperm productions.

Other common causes for male infertility include malformed sperm. In order to fertilize an egg, a sperm must be healthy, otherwise it will simply die before it even reaches the egg in the first place. Another common cause is low sperm motility. This is also called ‘lazy’ or ‘slow’ sperm. From a human point of view, the distance that sperm need to travel in order to fertilize a woman’s egg is not that much ‘ only a matter of inches, really ‘ but to the microscopic sperm, it may as well be miles. And sperm are very fragile to begin with, so if they are not active and mWhen talking about reproductive issues, a couple does well to consider some male infertility treatments that they can easily try at home. This is because in most cases of reproductive issues, infertility can equally be caused by the man’s reproductive system as it can be the woman’s. It is a common misconception (no pun intended) that all reproductive issues are strictly the woman’s problem. In reality, most couples being treated for this by medical doctors are finding this it’s a 50/50 chance that the man may need treatment, or it’s a combination of problems with both the man and the woman. In any case, someone may immediately wonder about male infertility treatments that you can try at home, first, before looking into medical intervention, expensive drugs, invasive surgeries, and the like. The good news is that there are some such treatments that men can try that may very well increase his abilities to impregnate.

Diet May be the Best Male Infertility Treatment

In a new study cited in OBGYN News, a group of Harvard researchers found that 79% of infertile couples had a lower-than-average intake of foods high in antioxidants – like fruits and vegetables. In one study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Medicine, doctors found that after one week of daily doses of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, sperm counts rose by some 140%. So, a multivitamin or a vitamin C supplement may be the first male infertility treatment that you would want to try.

More recently, a study published in the Archives of Andrology showed the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium improved the ability of sperm to swim – a skill necessary to reach the egg.

Exercise also improves muscle tone and good muscle tone helps every aspect of your system as well. Excessive body weight also puts undue pressure on the reproductive organs and doesn’t allow them to function optimally; obese persons often suffer from reproductive issues. Any male infertility treatment that you try at home should include regular physical activity and exercise.

Drugs and Smoking ‘ A Barrier to Any Effective Male Infertility Treatment

Some medications can interfere with a woman’s and a man’s reproductive systems. If you are taking any prescription drugs, be mindful of the side effects. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure. And this includes illegal drugs as well. Many narcotics interfere with the body’s fertility, as does tobacco. Excessive drinking (more than three alcoholic beverages per day) can too.

If you or your partner smoke, it’s time to quit. Smokers have been shown to have 17% less sperm count on average, not to mention that it disrupts the health of remaining sperm. If you’re taking illicit drugs, it’s time to quit those as well. And if necessary, make note of your drinking levels and cut back if needed.

So there you have it ‘ some natural, healthy male infertility treatments that any man or couple can try at home, before undergoing invasive surgery or doling out thousands on tests and medicines.

Blocked sperm ducts are another common cause of male infertility. When a man ejaculates, only about 1% of that fluid is actually sperm; if his sperm ducts are blocked, this means there will be even less sperm, if any at all.

A high sperm count and healthy sperm themselves are of course crucial for a man to be able to impregnate a woman. The more healthy sperm he has, the greater the chance of at least one of those sperm reaching that egg.

Male infertility can be treated!

The good news is that many of these conditions can be reversed, or helped along by your doctor; even if it means a medical intervention, most men with low sperm counts or malformed sperm can still help to conceive a healthy child. So if you’re experiencing problems conceiving, don’t waste another minute assuming that it’s just the woman. See your doctor today!

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Acupuncture Treatment As A Form Of Traditional Chinese Medicine For Infertility

Cindy Heller asked:

When it comes to traditional Chinese medicine and infertility, both the herbs and acupuncture are essential in order for the medications to be effective. The idea behind it is to treat the imbalance in the body through the use of acupuncture and herbs as they will restore the disharmony.

With alternative source of treatment, the conventional infertility treatments and traditional Chinese medicine must be combined. The traditional Chinese medicine and conventional infertility treatments can be are used when all avenues are exhausted as it will lead to a higher possibility of conceiving.

Acupuncture has existed for many centuries in certain cultures as a mean of treating all form of diseases. Acupuncture assists in regulating the flow of blood by the stimulation of the central nervous system as neurotransmitters and neurohormones are released as a result which help to heal the body.

In addition to, acupuncture discharge endorphins which help to fight pain; giving rise to a sensation of wellness. In the East where it was found and even in the west, acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and the association between acupuncture and infertility is still being studied.

Although acupuncture may seem an odd treatment for infertility, it has become increasing popular in helping infertile couples. The idea that needles are used can be discomforting but it is just a painless process of treating infertility. Just like an ant bite and slight bruising might occur but in general, acupuncture causes no major discomfort. Other form of infertility treatment cause more discomfort than acupuncture treatment, so there is nothing to worry.

The use of acupuncture for infertility is effective because our body have energy channels and they flow to different portions of the body and the surface of the body. With blockages, the energy flows are impeded and acupuncture will free the obstructions. With the release of chemicals into the muscle, brain and spinal, the healing is in process. Acupuncture has proven to assist in certain areas that normal infertility treatments are not able to.

Before embarking on acupuncture or alternative treatment, there is a need to consult your infertility physician and if the physician found out from the infertility tests that the problem is structural; then the combination of both traditional acupuncture and herbs treatment together with infertility treatment will not be helpful.

Knowing the cause is essential to treating infertility and acupuncture is a good start. The focus will be on three vital organs and they are kidney, spleen and liver as they have a direct bearing on the reproductive organs. Traditional Chinese medicine concentrate on these three organs and acupuncture will directly impact the reproductive organs through the treatment of these three organs.

Herbal supplements go well with traditional Chinese medicine by enhancing infertility treatment. Disharmony in the infertility treatment will be assisted by consuming herbal medications. Stress and anxiety can be reduced by their use and all in all, the treatment will improve the chances of conceiving.

As acupuncture is mostly used in treating infertility problem such as hormonal imbalances, structural abnormalities such as blockages of the fallopian tubes cannot be treated with acupuncture. With acupuncture, the body system is regulated and more blood flow to the vital organs and help in the regulation of the hormones. That will provide sufficient time for the body to recover especially for matter such as hormones imbalance. Acupuncture is best after conventional form of treatment are tried and in combination with such treatments.

As herbal supplements are sometimes used with acupuncture to boost acupuncture treatments and assist in curing infertility but certain herbs do impede the effect of infertility pills, so it is wise to consult your physician. Acupuncture is most effective when female is having the in vitro fertilization cycle. As acupuncture assist in calming the body as well as reducing anxiety, adding to in vitro fertilization success.

As there is an effective link between acupuncture and infertility, so it will be beneficial to look at the treatment. Just scheduling a few sessions may contribute to conception.

One of the best alternative forms of infertility treatments is acupuncture but it is better to find out more before using it and traditional form of treatment is very effective with acupuncture. Although traditional form of treatment is still controversial, there is little harm in taking a look after all else fail. Acupuncture as a form of treatment is worth a look at and conception might just occur.

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Male Infertility – Causes and Treatments

julie gardner asked:

When you’ve been trying to get pregnant for over a year and still nothing seems to be happening, there’s always that question. ‘Is there something wrong?’ A choice has to made as to whether testing is the road that you will take as a couple. It’s not just the woman who will be tested for infertility, it’s the man as well. Approximately 30% of conception problems is due to male infertility.

Male infertility causes

Male infertility can be caused by a number of reasons, and testing will be carried out for various problems.

The one that most people already know about is mumps. Mumps can cause testicles to swell, leading to a drop in sperm production. STD’s – Sexually transmitted diseases can cause problems with conception. Genetic illness can cause infertility. Hormone problems. Vasectomy reversal. Enlarged veins around the testicles. Cancer treatments can stop sperm production temporarily or for good. Some treatments damage the sperm producing cells. There may also be a psychological reason behind the infertility. Blockages in tubes can lead to low quantity or no sperm at all. Poor sperm motility. Malformed sperm.

There are course other male infertility causes. Recreational drugs can lower sperm quantity and quality, as can some prescribed medicines.

Smoking and drinking can also contribute towards male infertility.

Anabolic steroids can stop sperm production altogether. They may make your muscles look big, but that’s about the only plus point!

There is good news, male infertility can be treated. Sometimes you may get male infertility treatments on the NHS, or you may have to go to a specialist clinic. There are of course alternative treatments for male infertility. Some men swear by herbal treatments or acupuncture, just be sure to see a qualified practitioner.

To see more about male infertility and some treatments to help, join me Julie at:  http://www.new-baby-and-beyond.com/male-infertility-causes.html or  http://www.new-baby-and-beyond.com/male-infertility-treatments.html

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Ways To Seek Infertility Help

Cindy Heller asked:

There are many ways to seek infertility help for couples who are unable to conceive. If you found that you are unable to conceive after trying for more than a year, then it is time to seek help as you are most likely infertile. Seeking the assistance of an infertility expert is one way and they will be able to offer the proper treatment once tests are conducted.

Initial visit to your physician will be discomforting but once you compose yourself, subsequent visits will be less of a chore. You will have to get your medical and gynecological history ready with the female seeing a gynecologist and the male an urologist. Both will be thoroughly examined and the cause determined, after which will begin the process of infertility treatments.

Different couples have different problem and will be treated as such. Different form of infertility helps exist and the treatment options will vary. Some infertility problem will be difficult to detect and help will have to be postponed until the cause is found. It is necessary to obtain all the essential information on infertility and get the right treatment and emotional support. Handling infertility alone can be both trying and exasperating. With infertility help, it can certainly go a long way to ease the frustrations.

It is vital that you support each other and also health care provider and other support group can go a long way to help you get through the ordeal. Communication of feelings is essential, especially with your partner as it will help you to bond.

Talking about support group, we have infertility support groups all through United States. Infertility news will usually be devastating to couples as it will be something completely new. Couples dealing with it can go from mild to extreme and the emotional and physical strain can be overwhelming. Family and friends can provide limited support and infertility support groups can be very helpful.

The support group provides the necessary information in time of need and you will be able to find support from people who have gone through the treatments. You can take comfort from the fact that there are people with the same problem and have gone through to achieve conception.

Infertility support groups are there so that couples who have personal problem with infertility can seek help. All can attend, even families and there will be people in different stages of their infertility journey and can provide the needed answers. Other may have similar problem as you and can provide the guide you need.

Infertility support group provide many resources that you can’t get it by yourself. Information on the various types of treatments is there and also dealing positively with infertility. It can help you get rid of your hopelessness and more cheerful with the treatments. On the other hand, complex feelings can find some form of support as you will be hearing it from different angles. Making more friends there will help ease your negative impression.

Attending infertility support group can be very beneficial as others are facing the same problem. You can find infertility support group from your infertility specialist, social workers, hospital or health care providers and even national fertility organization. Infertility support groups help you to take control of your life since the devastating news. Hence it is worth the effort to check it out.

Besides infertility support groups, there are infertility message boards to provide the help that you are seeking. To remain positive, you need support as dealing with infertility alone can be trying. Infertility message boards provide the help online without the face to face meeting. Lots of similar people who face infertility are there to provide the assistance and you can freely express your fears and concerns and get the answers. As infertility message boards are free, you just need to get registered.

All infertility issues can be discussed on the infertility message boards and female tend to be able to share infertility problems with fellow female. There might be other type of treatments that you are not aware of and feelings are shared so that you can understand your deepest fears. Hope spring eternal and that is what you can find aplenty on infertility message boards.

Feel free to ask any questions and you don’t have to feel embarrassed. As well as, you can seek comfort for any form of treatments. Other with similar treatment can share with you and help you to ease your mind as stress can be damaging to infertility treatment.

With infertility message boards, you can find out things that you may not be aware of and then discuss with your partner and even your physician.

Anyone can seek the help of infertility message boards and that can help you to bring things out in the open instead of keeping to yourself. Infertility message boards provide the avenue to talk in this time of frustration while giving you the peace of mind. Anxiety and stress can be removed through infertility message boards to enable you to conceive peacefully. With so many ways to seek help, it is vital that you choose one that suits you.

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