Usually there aren’t many signs of infertility in men, as most issues can seem symptomless, this means very often men can be experiencing issues with their fertility without even knowing.
Male infertility causes are usually related to the quality or quantity of sperm in the semen. It may be that:
While many medical causes are out of your control, there are a number of lifestyle choices that can have an impact on male fertility, these can include:
Smoking can cause decreased sperm count, decreased sperm motility and poor sperm morphology (how they are shaped). Find out more about the effects of smoking on fertility here.
Drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels and cause sperm production to decrease. If you are trying to conceive, cutting down your alcohol intake.
Certain foods will promote male fertility, & some will have the opposite effect. Fruit, veg, fish and whole grains are linked to better semen, however processed meat, caffeine and saturated fats are linked to low sperm quality. Find out about the fertility diet here.
Recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine can also negatively affect sperm quality.
Having a BMI that is classified as being overweight or obese can affect the quality and quantity of sperm. Read more about the effects of weight and fertility here.
Keeping your testicles too warm can reduce sperm quality, sitting down for prolonged periods, using laptops, saunas & hot baths, can all have an effect. Wearing tight underwear or trousers can also have a negative effect as it pushes your testicles closer to the body, making them hotter.
Some medications such as antidepressants and steroids can affect ejaculation and thus cause fertility issues.
Using some lubricants during sex can affect the quality of your sperm and make them less likely to fertilise an egg.
Sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can also cause infertility in men.
Depending on the root cause of male infertility there are several treatments you can try, here at The Evewell we can help you find the right treatment for you to help improve your chances of conceiving.
Usually ICSI is the most common treatment for male infertility, it is a simple and highly effective way to get pregnant. The procedure is still mostly through the woman’s body, as it still requires extraction.
What is ICSI?
ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection and is the procedure where a sperm is injected directly into an egg, which means you only need one sperm per egg collected, and even men with very poor sperm quality, they will have several thousand sperm in their ejaculate.
Your treatment journey begins with a consultation with your doctor to discuss your medical history and if necessary, any recommendations for further investigations. We focus on the detail so that we design an individualised treatment plan to deliver the best possible results for you. You will spend time with one of our expert nurses who will guide you through the process and be on hand to provide you with care and support throughout your journey.
When you are ready you will start your medication and we will closely monitor your cycle to ensure an optimal response to your treatment. This monitoring will involve tracking follicle growth, egg development, and hormone levels.
Your doctor and embryologist will evaluate each individual patient to determine the best time to collect your eggs and at exactly the right time for you a specifically-timed trigger will be given. The trigger makes the eggs mature and ready to ovulate and when you are ready you will come to the centre for your eggs to be collected.
The egg collection is performed under deep sedation, which is an outpatient procedure, eliminating the need for an overnight stay. During the egg collection the sperm sample is evaluated and prepared. On the day of egg collection, the eggs are assessed to determine those which are mature and able to undergo ICSI. On the following day, the embryologist will contact you to let you know how many eggs have fertilised to form embryos.
The embryos will be cultured in our state-of-the-art incubators until ready for transfer to the uterus. You will be asked to attend the clinic for the embryo transfer and the selected embryo(s) will be transferred by your doctor.
Approximately two weeks following the embryo transfer, it will be time to do your pregnancy test. A follow up appointment with your doctor will ensure you are fully supported following your test result and will provide an opportunity to discuss any steps from there.
Here at The Evewell we are fertility experts with 20+ years experience. We give equal weighting to male fertility and consider this at the start of every patient journey. We have a combined focus on assessing, advising, treating and supporting both partners, so we can maximise your chances of conceiving.