Infertility is a common problem among couples, and while we talk about it as a women’s issue, men deal with it too. Infertility due to the male partner is known as “male infertility.”
Fertility issues are just as likely to come from problems in men as they are in women. According to the Dr. Shannel Adams MD, FACOG, it is estimated that 30-40% of couples struggling with infertility have a contributing factor of male infertility. While it is estimated 20% of couple’s struggling with infertility male infertility is the only factor. Male infertility is defined as abnormal sperm count and lack of pregnancy after one year of trying. Usually, that inability to sustain a pregnancy is a problem with the sperm count, motility, or morphology. In addition to the number of sperm a man has, the shape and movement or swimming of the sperm is also important. A problem in one of these three areas can cause male infertility.
A sperm sample should contain millions of sperm. Because of this, sperm is measured in ‘concentrations.’ Normal sperm concentration come in a wide range, but 15 million sperm per milliliter is a good benchmark.
High ‘swimming’ sperm count is also important. A portion of your sperm will swim, and it is the swimming sperm that increase your chances of achieving a pregnancy.
Sperm are very tiny. Morphology refers to the size and shape of the sperm. Sperm must be a certain shape to penetrate an egg. You want 4% of your sperm count to be a normal shape.
A semen analysis will provide information on your sample discovering if there are any issues with count, motility, or morphology. A semen analysis is a laboratory evaluation of the semen after it has been collected at home or in the clinic. Learn more about a semen analysis and what a normal SA is here. Once results from the semen analysis are in, you and your physicians can discuss your options. Here are some available:
- Sperm freezing can preserve high quality sperm.
- Sperm donor
- IVF and gestational carrier can provide an option for couples, especially same sex male couples, to have the families they’ve always dreamed of.
To learn more about male infertility or to get a semen analysis, contact us today!