Male Infertility Questions
1. What is Andrology & Mens Health?
Answer: The branch of medicine that deals with Menshealth, Maleinfertility, Sexual dysfunction and with all problems related to boys, adults or old age men.
2. What is infertility?
Answer: In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex.
3. Is infertility just a woman’s problem?
Answer: No, infertility is not always a woman’s problem. Both men and women contribute to infertility. Many couples struggle with infertility and seek help to become pregnant; however, it is often thought of as only a women’s condition. Whereas in reality, 40% of cases are due to women, 40% are due to males and the remaining due to joint factors in the couple.
4. What is the official definition of male infertility?
Answer: Male infertility refers to the inability to conceive a child, caused by factors that are not related to the female. Several factors can lead to male infertility, including low sperm production, immobile sperm, malformed sperm, or blockages that prevent sperm delivery to the semen. These conditions can result from illnesses, infections, chronic health problems, injuries and/or environmental factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals.
5. As a man I have normal sexual performance? How can I be responsible for infertility?
Answer: The sexual act and fertility are not directly related to each other. One could be impotent yet fertile. At the same time, a sexually potent man might not be fertile. Fact: In 50% of childless marriages, the male factor has been found to be the major cause of the couple’s inability to conceive.
6. What causes infertility in men?
Answer: Infertility in men can be caused by different factors.Semen analysis stands the primary investigation to assess infertility which helps to evaluate the number of sperms (count), motility,progressive motility and morphology (shape).
To be borne in mind is the fact that a slightly abnormal semen analysis does not mean that a man is necessarily infertile.
Conditions that can contribute to abnormal semen analyses include—
- Congenital or Persistent medical conditions or exposures such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, trauma, infection, testicular failure, or treatment with chemotherapy or radiation.
- Changing Life style trends involving heavy alcohol use, testosterone supplementation, smoking, anabolic steroid use, and illicit drug use.
- Environmental pollution and Exposure to toxins including exposure to pesticides and lead.
- Varicoceles, a condition in which the veins on a man’s testicles are enlarged and thus increasing the temperature of the testicular environment which might affect the sperms.
7. What is erectile dysfunction / impotence?
Answer: Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is an inability to get an erection that can substantially be maintained till the end of intercourse. The severity of erectile dysfunction can vary from complete lack of erection, to a partial erection that is not enough to penetrate your partner or is lost soon after you penetrate.
8. What is NPTR (Nocturnal Penile Tumescence) / RigiScan and how is it performed?
Answer: NPTR is a mode of investigation to evaluate Erectile dysfunction wherein the occurrence of erections during the night is measured used.You are asked to stay overnight for one or two based on the requirement in the hospital where they connect a small device to your penis and to sleep with the device on ,which records any night time erections.
9. What is ENDOPAT or PERISCOPE?
Answer: ENDOPAT or PERISCOPE are devices used to assess the Endothelial dysfunction which in term helps in evaluating the Erectile Dysfunction.These are new modalities of investigation that are of great use in assessment of Erectile dysfunction.
10. What is Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy and how does it help in treating Erectile Dysfunction?
Answer: Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy, now being used in various branches like Urology, Cardiovascular causes etc., is now being used in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction by reinstating i.e., by increasing bloodflow to the penis.
11. What are the advantages of Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy over the regular pharmacological therapy?
Answer: Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy is a novel, painless, noninvasive modality of treatment which is an outpatient procedure without any side effects that might happen with oral medications/injections.
12. What is premature ejaculation?
Answer: Usually orgasm coincides with ejaculation in males.Any disjunction leading an orgasm too early during intercourse to satisfy his partner is termed Premature Ejaculation. The condition is typically caused by anxiety or too much stimulation, and is often more common during the early stages of a relationship.
13. What is a semen analysis and How is this procedure performed?
Answer: Semen analysis is a non invasive,painless investigation which measures the quantity and quality of a man’s semen and sperm. You are asked to give a semen sample(atleast within 2 hours of collection) in a sterile,wide mouthed container preferably collected by masturbation/self stimulation after an abstinence of 2 to 5 days from intercourse.(shorter period of abstinence may affect sperm concentration while a longer period may diminish sperm motility.)
14. What is CASA and how is it different from a regular semen analysis?
Answer: CASA is Computer Assisted Semen Analysis in which the semen sample is analysed using an automated machine which gives accurate,reliable resultsavoiding the operator variability in performing the technique.It is based on population summary statistics and thus gives mean values.
15. What is the normal sperm count?
Answer: Normal sperm count is typically between 20 to 150 million sperm per milliliter of semen of which at least 60 percent of the sperm should have normal motility and shape.
16. Am I supposed to be infertile if I have a low sperm count?
Answer: Low sperm count is one of the leading causes of male infertility. Though low sperm count decreases the chances of conception through natural intercourse, it does not mean you cannot father a child.
17. What are the treatment options available for low sperm count?
Answer: The treatment options depend entirely on the root cause of your low count and range from oral medications/injections, Hormonaltherapy, Surgeries for causes like obstruction or blockage or varicocele, Mechanical devices (Vacuum assisted devices),Penile Implants/prosthesis and also novel treatments like Extra corporeal Short & Shock wave Lithotripsy.Few microsurgeries like PESA (Percutaneous sperm Aspiration, MESA, TESA, TESE are available for Sperm Retreival but in experienced and skillful hands.
18. Masturbation results in Eventual Infertility.Is this True?
Answer: Masturbation leads to ejaculation. Though this won’t have any long term effects on your sperm quality or count, it does affect your sperm count temporarily. Every time you ejaculate you will lose sperm from your body. So, its better to avoid regular masturbation while you are trying to conceive since it can lower your sperm count and lead to low chances of conception.
19. Working for long hours with laptop in the lap also affects sperm count?
Answer: Heat emitting laptops can increase the temperature in your scrotum. Even a slight increase in temperature can have a negative effect on your sperm production. If you and your partner are trying to conceive, it is better to avoid laptops or any sort of heat emitting sources near your scrotum.
20. How often should we have sex to get pregnant?
Answer: When it comes to getting pregnant, having intercourse more often is not necessarily going to increase your chances of conceiving. Women are fertile only for specific period during their monthly cycle – just before and during ovulation. Having intercourse on other times during the monthly cycle will not lead to pregnancy. To increase your chances of getting pregnant, you should have sex from 10th to 21st day of the cycle which is termed the fertile period.
21. What is a Varicocele and how does it affect male Fertility?
Answer: Varicocele is dilatation of veins in the scrotum which might be palpable. The mechanism by which a varicocele on one side can affect the fertility of both testicles is not clearly understood. What is true is that the temperature of the scrotum is normally several degrees cooler than body temperature, which is important for normal sperm production and testis function. This temperature difference is carefully maintained by the normal anatomy of the scrotum. The dilated veins in a varicocele may decrease the effectiveness of this natural cooling mechanism and “overheat” the testis and reduce its ability to function.
22. What is the treatment for Varicocele?
Answer: The treatment for varicocele is surgical, Varicocelectomy and depends on the symptoms and requirement of the individual.
23. What is Gynaecomastia?
Answer: Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as ‘man boobs’) is a common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to swell and become larger than normal and varies from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts.
24. Is Gynaecomastia a treatable condition?
Answer: Yes it is. But the mode of treatment depends on the cause whether it is hormonal or due to some drugs…Correction of hormonal imbalance,withdrawal of the responsible medication or surgery!!!
25. What is Phimosis?
Answer: Phimosis is a condition where there is an excess of foreskin on the penis and not able to retract it completely.This might result in improper hygiene which in turn causes infection (balanitis). This should be corrected by a surgical procedure called Circumcision.
26. What is Paraphimosis?
Answer: In Paraphimosis, a painful and an emergency condition, the skin on the penis gets stuck tightly when retracted back and there will be swelling of the penis. This should be reduced by a properly qualified doctor and at a later date, needs a surgery called Circumcision.
27. What is Circumcision?
Answer: Circumcision is a surgery in which the excess foreskin or the skin on the penis is excised and sutured. It is a daycare procedure and does not require any overnight stay in the hospital.
28. What is a Cosmetic circumcision?
Answer: Often overlooked in adult circumcisions performed by surgeons is the cosmetic appearance of the erect penis following the circumcision. This represents a procedure performed for hygiene purposes, and for that reason does not receive the same attention as other cosmetic procedures. However, in our hands, great care has been taken so that during an erection, the penis has an excellent cosmetic appearance. For that reason prior to the removal of skin, an artificial erection is induced in all patients so as to precisely determine the amount of skin to be excised. In addition of experiencing improved hygiene and self-esteem, after having a cosmetic circumcision patients are very pleased with the appearance of their penis.
29. What is Andropause?
Andropause is a condition encountered in males after the age of 40 or 50 years and is contemporary to the menopause experienced by females.This is caused by lack of a hormone called Testosterone.