A man is said to be infertile when the chances of his sperm fertilizing a healthy egg are reduced or non-existent. It refers to a condition in which the male is unable to make a fertile woman pregnant.
Male infertility is usually as a result of one or more semen deficiencies. These deficiencies can be seen in various forms:
* Low sperm count: A sperm count that is less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen at the point of ejaculation is said to be low. Azoospermia is a complete absence of sperm in the semen.
* Poor sperm motility: The sperm needs to be able to swim fast and swift through the female reproductive tract. A sluggish or slow sperm would be unable to ‘travel’ the distance to meet the egg. A sperm has low motility when less than 32% of the total sperm are unable to move efficiently towards the egg.
* Abnormal sperm morphology: Sperm morphology is the shape and size of the head of a sperm. A normal shape of head is needed to break through the shell of an egg, and fertilize it.
It is common for semen to contain some abnormal sperm, what makes it abnormal is the total ratio of normal to the abnormal ones. The sperm can be said to be abnormal in structure if it contains too many abnormal shapes.
* Sperm DNA fragmentation: This is a damage done to the DNA of the sperm. The DNA contains the genetic material of the sperm. The damage can occur either during production of the sperm or while it is being stored in the body. When this happens, the sperm would be unable to fertilize the egg properly.
Causes of Male Infertility
* Genetic defects
* Sexual Transmitted Infection like gonorrhea, chlamydia etc
* Exposure to toxic chemicals for prolonged period.
It can be treated through medications and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking.