Male Fertility Treatments
How to Increase Male Fertility ?
Fertility problems, and particularly problems with male fertility, have increased significantly over the past years and currently almost 30% of all infertility cases are caused by factors in the male.
Unfortunately, finding an ultimate solution to this problem is not very likely since just as with female fertility, male fertility is complex and multi-factorial. There are too many factors that can affect male fertility negatively, such as sperm disorders, testicular injury, varicocele, blockages in sperm-carrying tubes, problems with erection and/or ejaculation, hormonal problems, some medications, genetic disorders, etc.
However, improving fertility is not an impossible task. In fact, there is more than one way to increase male fertility naturally and safely. Eating certain foods, taking nutritional supplements and vitamins, undergoing herbal treatment, or taking quality natural semen enhancement pills, such as Volume Pills - these are all effective natural ways to improve sperm count and quality.
Treatment of male infertility is difficult and sometimes frustrating. Immediate results are hard to produce and persistence with therapy is required.
The following modalities of treatment are generally employed. : -
- Medical Treatment
- This consists of the administration of certain drugs to improve seminal quality. Clomiphene citrate, mesterolone, tamoxifen, gonadotropin injections, antibiotics, steroids etc. are commonly used.
- Surgical Treatment
- Obstructions in the sperm conduction pathway, varicoceles, undescended testes etc. can be treated by operation.
- Modern microsurgical techniques are of great help. Even patients who have undergone a vasectomy in the past can have their vasectomy reversed and the tubes recanalised successfully using microsurgery.
- Assisted Reproduction
- In many cases, neither medicines nor operations are of help. In such cases, an attempt is made in the reproductive laboratory to improve semen quality and facilitate the penetration of the sperm into the ovum. This includes sperm washing/capacitation, intra-uterine insemination (IUI), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and micro-manipulation (ICSI).
- Microsurgery and assisted reproduction require considerable training, skill and infrastructure.
- Despite the availability of so many treatment modalities, some patients remain incurable and no treatment, cheap or expensive, can improve their fertility prospects. One then has no alternative but to recommend an AID (donor insemination) or adoption.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg; this procedure is most commonly used to overcome male infertility problems.
The procedure is done under a microscope using micromanipulation devices (micromanipulators, microinjectors and micropipettes). A holding pipette (on picture on left) stablizes the mature oocyte. from the opposite site a thin, hollow needle is pierced into the inner part of the oocyte, the oolemma. it is loaded with a single sperm that will be released into the oocyte. The pictured oocyte has an extruded polar body at about 12 o'clock indicating its maturity. After the procedure, the oocyte will be placed into cell culture and checked on the following day for signs of fertilization.
In natural fertilisation sperm compete and when the first sperm enters the egg cell, the egg cell blocks the entry of any other sperm. Concern has been raised that in ICSI this sperm selection process is bypassed and the sperm is selected by the embryologist without undergoing any specific testing. However, in mid 2006 the FDA cleared a device that allows embryologists to select mature sperm for ICSI based on sperm binding to hyaluronan, the main constituent of the gel layer (cumulus oophorus) surrounding the oocyte.
The device provides microscopic droplets of hyaluronan hydrogel attached to the culture dish. The embryologist places the prepared sperm on the microdot, selects and captures sperm that bind to the dot. Basic research on the maturation of sperm shows that hyaluronan-binding sperm are more mature and show fewer DNA strand breaks and significantly lower levels of aneuploidy than the sperm population from which they were selected.
Can something be done to enhance fertility?
- Smoking & excessive alcohol intake is associated with low sperm counts. These habits should be discontinued.
- Stop using drugs such as body-building steroids & illicit drugs. Other medication such as antihypertensives should also be reviewed in the light of effect on sperm count.
- Most importantly the frequency of intercourse should be increased, so that chances of conception increase.
- Men should wear loose fitting underwear and cool clothes and avoid high temperature baths like saunas etc.
- It is advisable that when the couple is planning pregnancy, intercourse is done in a proper position and using proper technique. Lubricants such petroleum jelly etc. should be avoided.
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