Our fertility experts at Reproductive Sciences Medical Center have done extensive research regarding male infertility. Studies have confirmed what many fertility specialists have suspected for some time now. There has been a dramatic increase in the levels of male infertility. We’re going to take a look at some possible factors based on the results of several studies. We will also explore multiple implications arising from their findings.
What are the key findings of semen quality research?
Multiple studies have shown that the proportion of men at risk of facing infertility and requiring fertility treatments has significantly increased in the last 15 years. In 2004, the ratio was 12.4% and has now increased to 22.8% in 2019. This represents a significant rise in a little over a decade. The sudden increase in Male Fertility also represents an alarming development in male infertility. Research was conducted to provide an evaluation of semen analyses for over 100,000 men. The participants of the research study were men treated in IVF clinics across the globe over different periods of time. The total mobile sperm count (TMSC), which is the most important factor affecting the probability of achieving pregnancy, was examined.
The study divided data obtained from the sample of men into three different groups based on total mobile sperm count:
- Greater than 15 million sperm per milliliter – normally men in this group don’t require fertility treatment.
- Between 5 and 15 million sperm per milliliter – requires a simple type of assisted fertility treatment such as artificial insemination.
- Fewer than 5 million sperm per milliliter – would require assisted reproduction treatments in the form of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), to achieve a pregnancy.
How has Reproductive Sciences Medical Center used this research to help couples and individuals?
Increased research has led to technological advances and techniques in terms of infertility treatments. This has enabled our team to make improvements and keep up to date on the latest technology and techniques. In doing so, we’ve been able to take on some of the toughest fertility cases and help individuals and couples fulfill their dream of starting their own family.
What has caused male fertility to decline?
Even though there have been many studies conducted and extensive research done, the simple answer is that we don’t know the exact reason yet. Although there’s an assumption that environmental changes and lifestyle factors are the key indicators in the decline of sperm motility, and thus male infertility.
Research has indicated that certain lifestyle choices and exposure to a negative environment has an adverse effect on sperm quality. The only unknown is how harmful these factors are. Given that the causes of infertility are based on speculation, the demand for a more accurate research of these factors which negatively affect the sperm quality is increasing. In the meantime, it is always advised that men pay attention to lifestyle factors and healthy living. Factors may include a healthy diet, adequate exercise and plenty of sleep. Also, avoiding harmful substances like cigarettes and alcohol can help lower the chances of infertility.
How should men check their fertility level?
There are sperm testing kits available that can be used at home. However, they only give a general picture of the quantity. In most cases they do not give any information on the most important factor, which is sperm motility. The best option is to go to your local fertility clinic. Your semen sample will be analyzed in a laboratory to check the quality and quantity of your sperm and the results will be provided usually within a week. If the results are abnormal, than next steps can be discussed.
What treatments are available for male infertility?
At RSMC, in addition to identifying the problem, we work towards providing a complete solution. The appropriate treatment option depends on how severe the case is. Here are some of the available treatment options for male infertility.
Artificial Insemination (IUI)
IUI is the least invasive fertility treatment. During an IUI procedure, washed and prepared sperm is placed near the egg inside the uterus during an ovulation cycle. Fertility drugs may be used to help track ovulation and increase chances of success. The timing of insemination is critical due to the short length of an ovulation cycle and the life span of sperm. It is usually recommended due to a borderline low sperm count, low sperm quality or poor mobility.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), is the process by which eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory culture dish (in vitro). The IVF process also includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and egg/embryo freezing.
Unlike, IUI, In Vitro Fertilization involves additional steps, which include egg retrieval, embryo creation, and embryo transfer. IVF may be recommended if there are low sperm counts or sperm has the inability to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI- pronounced ick-see) is performed during IVF. A single sperm cell is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg. This reduces the dependence on the strength and motility of the sperm. Nearly half of all IVF treatments involve ICSI, since it is the most successful treatment for male fertility. ICSI increases the chance of pregnancy because if maximizes the change of fertilization by eliminating any issues for the sperm’s ability to reach the egg.
Finding out more about treatment options available at RSMC
Studies show that one in five men are at risk of infertility and requires fertility treatments. If you or your partner are affected by infertility then you’re not alone. You can visit our website at www.fertile.com where you can always find useful information on available treatment options. You can also give us a call 858-436—7186 to schedule a free consultation.