“You think it might be me???”
Facts about Male Factor Infertility
We’re watching TV late at night, rapt as the couple on the screen struggles to talk through their latest issue. They want to have a baby but something is wrong and they can’t seem to conceive. She is crying and wringing her hands. He is nervously avoiding eye contact. She discloses that she’s met with her doctor, had some tests, and is fine. The words just barely leave her mouth and he cries out, “What? So you think it’s me?!” The relationship is suddenly caught in the crossfire of their possible infertility, and instead of providing support to one another during this difficult time; the partners become isolated by their circumstances.
The scene is not all that uncommon these days. Couples are waiting longer to begin their families, and are facing fertility challenges more than they ever have before. As women age, they are ever more aware of their biological clocks ticking, but men, bolstered by celebrities like Tony Randall (his last child born when Randall was age 79), may not be as conscious of their own shifting fertility issues.
Male factor infertility refers to the inability of a man’s sperm to fertilize an ovum.
Male fertility depends on three primary elements:
- There must be adequate spermatozoa production by the testes
- The sperm must be able to travel unobstructed through the seminal duct and
- The sperm must reach the ovum without fail.
These elements often go awry and produce the following fertility challenges:
- Low sperm count: this is defined as less than 20 million sperm per milliliter (the “normal” sperm count is 200 million per ejaculate)
- Low sperm motility: this is defined as less than 50% of the sperm have purposeful forward movement towards the ovum.
- Poor sperm morphology: this is defined as less than 30% of the sperm having normal form and shape.
It is not easy to be interested in improving sperm… if you don’t know understand sperm. You have probably hear about sperm quality, motility and count. But what does that mean? Check this video to learn more about sperm, sperm tests and why sperm quality, sperm motility and sperm count are determinant factors to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
And, all in all, the end result of any of the above is that a couple, who very much want to conceive, may not be able to do so unassisted. Fortunately, there are clinics like Reproductive Wellness that provide comprehensive assessment and treatment for infertility, whatever the source may be. The services available through Reproductive Wellness are based on the Mind/Body Medical treatments that were developed by Harvard Medical Center, and approach not only the physical elements that may inhibit conception and pregnancy, but the emotional and spiritual factors that may play a part as well.
“The journey of a thousand steps begins with the first” Lao Tzu
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