Spotlight On Male Fertility When Couples Are Trying to Conceive

About 12-15% of all couples are not able to conceive after 1 year of trying. For about 10%, that lasts past 2 years. Traditionally, and mistakenly, women have been seen as the primary cause of infertility in couples that are unable to conceive. Our research and understanding about couples’ fertility has yielded that men and women each account for about 1/3 of the cause while the last third cannot be attributed or is attributable to both partners. This paradigm shift has allowed us to improve cost and quality of care to couples who are unable to conceive.

Trying to conceive is easier when you consider both the male and female perspectives of fertility according to Atlanta men's health expert Dr. Akash Kapadia

Before we delve into the potential diagnostic tools and treatments that a male fertility specialist like Dr. Kapadia has to offer, it is important to understand a few key points about male and female fertility.

1.     There are a host of hormonal issues that may affect fertility. For example, obesity can reduce fertility in both men and women. Therefore, those suffering from excess weight, should take steps to lose some of that weight and improve obesity related conditions, if any, when trying to conceive.

2.     Second, conceiving a child can take some time. Most couples will conceive within a year with regular sex, but it may not happen in the first few months. As couples age, this may take longer. Of course, there are times where this happens sooner or later, but if you have tried for a few months with no success, this is not necessarily an indication of infertility.

3.     Stress, alcohol intake, drug use, and smoking can all reduce the likelihood of getting pregnant. Addressing these is also important for the patient’s general health beyond their fertility and that of their unborn child.

4.     Discuss any medications you are taking with your primary care physician or Dr. Kapadia. It is always a good idea to let your medical team know that you are trying to conceive. He or she will be able to look over your medical chart and see if there are any impediments to conception.

If all the modifiable causes of infertility have been addressed, it is important that each partner see their respective fertility specialist. It should not be assumed that infertility is more common or exclusive to female patients. Men need to see a fertility specialist as well. After an initial consultation with Dr. Kapadia, which both partners should attend, we can move on to the diagnostic process that may include testing to understand whether there may be a concern with the man’s reproductive system. Most commonly we find:

–       Abnormalities in sperm production
–       Issues with sperm function or quality (often due to varicocele)
–       Trouble with sperm delivery
–       Damage because of cancer or the treatment thereof
–       Vasectomy

These concerns can be addressed with treatments such as:

–       Medication for hormonal imbalance (low testosterone)
–       Testicular mapping (for no sperm in the ejaculate)
–       Varicocele treatment
–       Sperm retrieval
–       Vasectomy Reversal

The next step is to visit a urologist specializing in male fertility to understand more about the potential issues you may be experiencing. Conceiving may be as simple as minimally invasive or medical therapy or could require a more involved process. Either way, Dr. Kapadia has the resources and knowledge to increase the chances of successfully conceiving.