Many people think of infertility as a problem primarily affecting women but that’s not actually the case.
June 11 was the beginning of National Men's Health Week, culminating on Father's Day!
Infertility issues are pretty evenly divided between male and female partners, with about one-third of cases due to female infertility and about one-third of cases due to male infertility issues (the remaining third are due to both partners or because of unknown causes). A low sperm count is the most common cause of male infertility, which has no obvious symptom. That’s why when a couple is experiencing trouble conceiving, it is important that both partners are examined for potential issues.
Three Common Types of Male Infertility:
- Low sperm count - Sperm counts can have huge variations from one man to the next, but on average a normal sperm count ranges from around 15 to 200 million sperm per milliliter. Anything less that 15 million is considered low.
- Poor motility - Sperm motility describes the ability of sperm to move properly through the female reproductive tract to reach and fertilize the woman’s egg. At least 50% of a man’s sperm should have good quality progressive motility. When levels are below this percentage, infertility is a common result.
- Abnormal sperm morphology. This means sperm does not have a normal shape. Normal sperms have a long tail and an oval head, while those with abnormal morphology may have a crooked tail or a misshapen head. This matters because having an abnormal shape might make it difficult for them to penetrate an egg.
Your doctor can help you look for these potential problem areas and offer solutions to help increase your sperm count and boost your chances of conceiving naturally. Another thing that is helpful for many men is to discuss alternative options for becoming a parent with their partner. Talk to each other about what you would want to do if you cannot conceive naturally. What are the emotional, physical, and financial limits when it comes to becoming parents?
An answer that has helped thousands of couple around the country overcome infertility is embryo adoption. This alternative solution offers parents the chance to experience the joys of pregnancy and the miracle of birth with their adopted child. Fertility issues don’t mean the end of your opportunity to become a father!