Man: How do you know if you are infertile?

Male infertility

Sometimes it's not enough to have met the right person and feel ready to have a baby. The path to conception is not equal for everyone and it happens very/too often that it is strewn with pitfalls. Among them, male infertility, a subject that we have finally dared to talk about in recent years.
A meta-analysis from November 2022, carried out by American and Israeli researchers, is particularly alarmist: modern lifestyle and environmental changes have led to a very sharp decline in the number of spermatozoa throughout the world.
What are the different methods for diagnosing male infertility? What are the potential causes? What are the various options available for a man to improve his fertility rate? Gentlemen, this article is for you, we will help you take stock!

The difference between sterility and infertility in men

First of all, it is important to understand the difference between infertility and sterility.

Male infertility refers to the inability to conceive a child despite months of regular, unprotected attempts.
Important to know: male infertility can contribute to approximately 20% of cases of overall infertility, and up to 30% to 40% in cases of mixed factor where both members of the couple present an infertility problem.

Male infertility, on the other hand, is defined as the complete inability to procreate. It is therefore possible to be infertile without being sterile, because some infertility problems can be treated successfully.

How long do we start talking about infertility?

According to medical experts, it is advisable to consult a fertility specialist to assess your situation if you have been trying to conceive a child for more than a year without success, or even 6 months if you are aged 35 or older. These times are based on the statistical probability of conception in fertile couples.

Gentlemen, how to check if you are infertile or sterile?

The main method to determine if a man is having infertility problems is to perform a spermogram, a clinical examination to assess the quality and quantity of your sperm. This examination analyzes several parameters, including sperm morphology, motility and concentration. It can also reveal possible abnormalities in the male genitals, which could affect fertility.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a normal spermogram should have the following characteristics:

  • A sperm concentration of at least 15 million per milliliter of ejaculate.
  • At least 40% of sperm must have progressive motility.
  • At least 4% of sperm must have normal morphology.

Perform a spermogram

Before carrying out the spermogram, it is recommended to carry out a period of sexual abstinence of approximately 2 to 5 days in order to obtain a representative sperm sample.
The sample is usually collected by masturbation into a sterile container provided by the laboratory, taking care to avoid contamination with external substances. Once the sample is collected, a macroscopic analysis is performed to evaluate characteristics such as sperm quantity, viscosity and color.
Subsequently, a microscopic analysis is carried out to assess the concentration of sperm, their mobility, their morphology and their vitality. These parameters provide essential information about the quality of the sperm and its ability to fertilize an egg.

It is also possible to self-perform a spermogram at home using the “SpermCheck” self-test device which allows you to perform a male fertility test at home by measuring the number of sperm present in the semen sample.

However, this device does not provide detailed analysis of sperm motility and morphology.

Can we detect sterility and/or infertility in men without doing a medical test?

It is not possible to accurately diagnose sterility or infertility in men without performing medical tests. Visible symptoms, such as erection or ejaculation problems, are not always indicative of fertility problems. Only a spermogram and other specialized medical tests can provide accurate information about your fertility.

The male fertility assessment includes several tests to determine the causes of infertility and decide on the appropriate treatment.
In addition to the spermogram to assess sperm quality, basic tests include a physical exam to rule out testicular or ejaculation problems. If abnormalities are detected, a hormonal panel may be ordered to check male sex hormone levels.

Additional tests may also be ordered, such as sperm DNA analysis, sperm culture, karyotype analysis, hyposmotic analysis and FISH testing to assess normal chromosome endowment.

The causes of male infertility

Many factors can explain male infertility problems.

Unsurprisingly, your lifestyle has a strong impact on your fertility. An unbalanced diet, excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs can significantly affect sperm quality. Stress can also play a crucial role: studies have shown that chronic stress can alter reproductive hormone levels and reduce sperm quality.

But experts also point to environmental factors such as exposure to toxic chemicals present in the environment (industrial chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and endocrine disruptors).
These can disrupt the male hormonal system, leading to impaired sperm production and fertility.

Certain underlying medical problems such as hormonal disorders, genital infections, birth defects like blockages of the vas deferens, and immunological disorders can also contribute to decreased male fertility.

How to increase a man's fertility rate?

If you are facing male infertility issues, there are certain steps you can take to increase your fertility rate.

First of all, you will have understood, it is essential to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Marie-Liesse Goutte, phyto-aromatherapy advisor specializing in fertility restoration, explained to us how important it is to take care of your liver to improve female fertility . But this advice also applies to men.
Studies have shown that eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, can improve sperm quality.
Furthermore, maintaining optimal body weight is recommended, as obesity can impair sperm production.

Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga and regular exercise, can help reduce stress and improve fertility.

In addition to a healthy lifestyle, certain supplements can also be beneficial. For example, taking antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc improves sperm mobility and increases their concentration.
For infertile couples, we recommend our Baby Boost women's fertility vitamins , 100% natural herbal and vitamin, designed specifically to increase female fertility during the childbearing period.

Finally, it is of course recommended to consult a fertility specialist to obtain personalized advice and consider other options, such as medically assisted procreation. Male fertility is a complex subject and often shrouded in taboo, but there are treatment options available for male infertility that can significantly increase your chances of conceiving a child.
Thanks to advances in reproductive medicine, many methods and techniques are now accessible, such as medically assisted procreation (AMP), hormonal treatments or even corrective surgery in certain cases. With the right support and a personalized approach, it is possible to overcome the obstacles associated with infertility.

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