While successful conception is based on the health of both the male and female’s reproductive systems, there are times when one is more likely to influence conception than the other. Depending on what your diagnosis is—low sperm count, varicocele, hormone problems—you may need treatment for your infertility. What are some of the possible treatments for male infertility?
Changing Your Intimacy Routine
Did you know that an egg is only available for fertilization for 24 hours during the five-day ovulation period? This means you’ve got a tight window of time for fertilization. However, semen can survive in the womb for a period of time, so in order to optimize your chances of conception, it’s best if you have intercourse every 48 hours during the ovulation period. Ovulation kits can help you and your partner know when she is ovulating.
You may also consider doing away with any lubricants you use during sex. This is because they can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg due to their lack of viscosity. The sperm can’t travel well in many commercial lubricants. Talk with your doctor about alternatives that you can use while you’re trying to conceive.
While trying to conceive, it’s vital that both you and your partner do your best to remain in optimal health. Both the sperm and egg are affected by factors such as diet, smoking and drinking, exposure to toxins, lack of exercise, and obesity. Consider eliminating tobacco products as well as alcohol because they can be damaging to your fertility as well as to your future child. Stick to whole foods and exercise three times a week at a minimum. Talk with your doctor about further steps you can take to control your weight, eat better, and exercise right.
Surgery for Varicocele
A varicocele is a swelling in the veins that drain the testicles. This is one of the more common causes of male infertility, and luckily it is generally easily corrected with surgery. A varicocele happens when the veins in your spermatic cord aren’t able to allow adequate blood flow. The backup of blood into the veins causes them to swell, which may affect your fertility. It’s not known precisely what causes varicoceles, but some experts speculate that they happen over time and often form during puberty. Microscopic surgery is needed to repair the vein, and although you may have some minor pain and bruising after the procedure, you should be able to return to normal activities in just a few days.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Many couples experience success with the advanced techniques of ART and are able to have a happy and healthy conception with both partners’ DNA. You have the choice of using Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), where your sperm are placed into your partner’s uterus during ovulation, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), where your sperm and your partner’s eggs are unified outside the body to be fertilized and then placed in your partner’s womb, or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which involves placing a sperm into an egg cell, and then transferring it back into your partner. Talk about these options with your doctor if other treatment choices were not an option or were not successful.
Your urologist can help you discover if you suffer from male infertility, and if you do, what treatments are available to you. You may simply have a varicocele that can be corrected, need to change your sex practices, or need hormone replacement therapy. If none of these options help, remember that ART can help you and your partner have a child. Schedule an appointment with your urologist today if you and your partner have been trying to conceive without success.