Male Factor Infertility: Understanding Male Fertility & Alternative Options in Surrogacy for Intended Parents
Hello intended parents and prospective surrogate mothers.
Welcome to our blog where we discuss issues of infertility, becoming a surrogate and other important topics related to surrogacy.
Today we are going to discuss infertility in a way that many couples may think that they are struggling, but may not know about.
The issue is called: Male Factor Infertility.
What is this exactly?
It’s proof that women are not the only reason that couples may be experiencing the inability to have children. Contrary to popular opinion, women are not the only cause of infertility, and this article will explain why.
Out of the many cases of infertility, about 40 to 50 percent are due to male factor infertility.
Up to approximately 2 percent of all men will show some type of less than optimal parameters given for healthy sperm.
These results might be from poor sperm motility tests, some abnormal morphology of the sperm or simply a lower than average sperm count.
A male might have just one of these conditions, or he could have a combination of two or three. Worldwide, fertility problems in men are estimated to affect roughly 8 to 12 percent of couples throughout the entire globe.
In countries that are less developed and industrialized, the prevalence of male fertility issues is significantly higher.
This is thought to be caused by more active and chronic diseases in men that have a tendency to cause male reproductive problems.
Why Researchers Studying Trends of Males with Issues Related to Reproduction Is Important
In the past, medical experts commonly attributed a couple’s inability to have children more the female’s problem.
This was due in part to the medical community lacking the knowledge of how decreases in fertility among males occurred.
Additionally, trying to get accurate counts and information on these trends in poorer countries was just too difficult.
Getting an accurate picture of whether fertility issues in men are in fact growing more prevalent can be somewhat tricky. Scientists are attempting to figure out if changes in our environment over the past several decades are responsible for this decline in fertility levels among men.
By studying these trends, researchers hope to define more causes of male-related fertility troubles and seek to find a cure or more effective treatments.
How Common is Male Infertility Today?
Scientists today state that about 1/3 of all cases of couples not being able to conceive are due to the male. Another 1/3 of these cases puts the blame on the female. The other 1/3 are either caused by both partners or are labeled as undetermined causes.
Male fertility issues are typically found to result because of something wrong with the man’s testicles that produce the sperm.
Other causes include health conditions that cause blockages to the male reproductive organs or due to some type of hormone imbalance. At least 50 percent of all male fertility problems and their exact causes are not able to be identified by doctors.
How Does a Healthy Male Reproductive System Work?
In healthy males, a normal male reproductive system includes the urethra and penis which are considered both the urinary system and part of a male’s reproductive system. The rest of a man’s reproductive system structures include the scrotum, testes, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and the prostate.
The man’s penis is comprised of the root which attaches the penis to the abdominal structures that sit lower down, the visible portion is known as the shaft and the cone-shaped gland on the tip is termed the glans penis.
The male urethra is the tract that is responsible for transporting both urine and semen, and the urethra opening can be seen at the tip of the penis where a man urinates out of. This structure needs to be protected from urethral trauma often caused by improper care of a urinary catheter during hospitalizations or home care.
A males penis contains thee cylindrical-shaped blood-filled sinuses also called the erectile tissue. These are what causes the penis to become hard, rigid and engorged with blood enabling the penile erection that makes the organ be able to insert inside a female’s vagina and reproductive tract when aroused.
The scrotum is a thicker skinned sac that surrounds the testes for protection. It also works as a temperature control regulator that helps keep the testes cooler than body temperature.
This is important when considering fertility. Specialized muscles contract and expand to raise and lower the testes both to provide additional protection and assist in keeping the testes at the proper temperature needed for healthy sperm production.
The Purpose of a Man’s Testes
A male has two oval-shaped bodies that serve two special purposes in the male reproductive system.
These are responsible for the production of sperm which is where the male’s genetic material is carried. The testes also produce the male hormone testosterone considered the main male sex hormone.
A Male’s Epididymis Purpose
This structure is a tiny microscopic coiled tube that when uncoiled would reach 20 feet.
Its purpose is to collect sperm from the man’s testes, then this tube continues to provide an ideal sperm maturation spot that enables that sperm to develop the amount of motility needed to travel up to a female’s reproductive tract during intercourse to hopefully fertilize the woman’s egg or ovum.
How the Spermatic Cord is Formed
A thin tube known as the vas deferens transports sperm from the epididymis to the very backside of the prostate gland to hook up with one of the two seminal vesicles. Inside of the scrotum, other structures including blood vessels, muscle fibers, and nerve endings travel along this same spaghetti thin vas deferens joining to create the spermatic cord.
Where Is the Prostate Gland Located?
In younger males, a smaller walnut-sized gland is positioned just beneath the bladder. It wraps around to cover and protect the urethra which is where urine is transported out of the body from where it is stored in the bladder. The urethra is also where a man ejects sperm called an ejaculation. This is why it serves two male organ systems.
Special note, as a man ages, his prostate gland typically enlarges. This eventually can cause urinary flow problems if it gets too big. That can be a big factor in male fertility issues.
The Job of the Seminole Vesicles
These small structures form together to produce the necessary fluids that provide the necessary nourishment to the growing sperm.
These vesicles sit above the prostate and link with the vas deferens to form the ejaculatory ducts. These travel through the prostate and picks up more enriched fluid.
This is the main volume of liquid secreted during an ejaculation.
Understanding the Delicate Inter-workings of the Male Reproductive System & Fertility Impacts
Most people really never think of the male reproductive system as being a bit complex and even fragile or delicate. These small and intertwined structures are easy to upset or injure, and that can cause a direct impact on a man’s fertility.
Some common causes of male fertility problems include:
- Injuries to small & intertwined structures in the male reproductive system
- Traumatic injuries to soft scrotum/testes anytime in life
- Hormonal imbalances
- Higher temperatures in testes where sperm is produced
- Certain childhood illnesses like mumps, measles & others
- Enlarged prostate
- Damage to any crucial reproductive organs/structures – aggressive sports, car accidents & direct impacts
- High fevers especially after puberty
The Dire Need To Protect Young Males from Sports Injuries
Considering all of the data that backs up the dire need to protect a young male child or teen’s male reproductive organs, it’s frightening to think of how often this is neglected. Boys are more likely to engage in sports and other activities where there is a lot of physical contact.
It is essential to speak with your male children to teach them the necessity of protecting these fragile organs. Testes that are damaged when a child is young often impacts the male’s future fertility in a negative manner.
Parents and coaches need to provide and enforce the wearing of athletic scrotal cups during high impact sports like football, wrestling, hockey, and others.
The Debate Over Childhood Vaccines & Risk of Male Fertility Issues
There have been some frightening cases of mumps and measles outbreaks that have health officials and parents concerned. Some parents oppose having their children vaccinated for common childhood diseases such as mumps, measles, chickenpox, and others.
Mumps has been known to cause males to become unable to father a child in a natural way. This occurs following the swelling of mumps infected male’s testicles.
Usually, this resolves with little damage, but the threat of dangerous complications like male fertility issues, swelling of the brain lining and others should have a sobering effect.
This disease is highly contagious, and people do not know that they are infectious prior to the typical rash outbreaks. This is why these diseases spread through communities like wildfire.
Parents should speak with their family doctors if worried about getting childhood vaccines or concerned about the effectiveness of vaccines over time.
Mumps has a long incubation time of up to 26 days after initial exposure. This is one reason why outbreaks are hard to contain. All parents, teachers and concerned citizens should get the facts on this subject to protect their children from becoming ill with possible fertility issues down the road.
Special Fertility Concerns Due to Common Male Lifestyle Choices
There are some special types of fertility-related concerns due to most male’s typical lifestyle choices that are popular with younger men today.
Even more so than with females, a man’s fertility is really linked closely to his overall health status in general.
Boys and men are more likely to engage in riskier activities and lifestyle choices that could seriously and permanently damage tender exposed reproductive organs. Additionally, men are more likely to engage in heavier illegal drug use, take steroids to bulk up, drink more alcohol, drink caffeine-laden beverages like coffee and smoke on a regular basis.
Some common male lifestyle choices that negatively impact fertility:
- Engage in more contact sports
- Wear constrictive underwear & pants
- More apt to engage in intense exercise that raises the testicular temperature that impacts the health of sperm & fertility
- Drink more alcohol often chronic abuse
- More likely to do recreational drugs
- Often eat poorer diets
- Tend to be workaholics & engage is stressful activities
- Are adrenaline junkies that lead to inner stress, anxieties & consequences
- May take steroids, hormones or use or excess health supplements
- Get less sleep
- Are less likely to face & get help for stress, emotional issues & depression
- More apt to medicate their pain, stress & problematic issues with alcohol, drugs & risky lifestyles
- More likely to hold in their emotions
- Can be exposed to more dangerous chemicals on-the-job
- Less likely to keep wellness checkups
- Prone to high blood pressure, diabetes & heart-related issues
The High Impact of Untreated Mental & Emotional Disorders on Male Fertility Rates
Stress and mental disorders have likely played a huge role in the rise of male fertility problems in recent years.
Today’s fast-paced lifestyles, in general, are likely to affect men more as they are less likely to take the time and effort to seek proper mental health treatment when needed.
The role of men in our society has caused an uptake in mental health problems that tend to impact males more than females.
Combine the risks of untreated mental health and emotional disorders by a man’s higher likelihood of attempting to treat themselves with chronic alcohol or illegal drug use, and this creates a volatile situation that could negatively impact the man’s health, lifestyle and increase chances for infertility in men.
Men are much more likely to develop an addiction or more than one over females in the same circumstance.
Men often feel that they shouldn’t show their feelings and typically need some prompting to seek proper addiction and mental health counseling and treatment.
Men Can Get Effective Fertility Treatment Too at a Fertility Clinic
When a couple suffers the despair of discovering that they are unable to conceive a baby on their own, it is usually the female who seeks fertility treatments at a fertility clinic.
Women are likely to undergo intensive IVF treatment, also known as in-vitro fertilization, sometimes on their own. There is still a stigma that seems to indicate that men shouldn’t be given the same fertility counseling and treatments that women are able to receive.
It is not uncommon for couples struggling with having a baby to never question if the problem at hand has anything to do with the male partner until years have gone by.
As men are more likely to be older when they do decide to become a parent, that is a lot of wasted time that could have been better spent focusing on all of the options for both of the partners.
Males Should Also Get Effective Fertility Treatments As Well
It is a bit frustrating that the stigma regarding a couple’s fertility keeps the focus only on the women until their time, treatment options or money runs out.
More males need to also be evaluated and treated. Imagine how much easier it would be to find the solution to a couple’s inability to become a parent may lie with a simple lifestyle change that the man could make.
This should be addressed with a professional fertility doctor who has specialized in reproductive endocrinology. This reproductive professional will understand male factor infertility and help the couple further understand what they can do to become fertile again. Just like for women, men who have some fertility risks should seek to live a healthier lifestyle to improve the couple’s overall chances of success.
More men are now getting faster fertility treatment from a well-respected fertility clinic that offers these breakthrough fertility services for males.
It can be both time-consuming and very costly to undergo several rounds of IVF. If the man can resolve whatever risk factors that are hindering the couple’s pursuit of becoming parents, more women might be spared a lengthy in-vitro fertilization process.
Is It Time To Consider Getting Help with Where To Find a Surrogate?
Many couples these days decide to forego further rounds of unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization attempts, and frequent trips to a sterile and cold appearing fertility clinic and endless waiting just to have a child of their own.
For some, their choice to take steps in order to find a surrogate mother was the final steps toward transforming them into parents.
Reasons to Seriously Consider Surrogacy in California
It is often a huge relief for couples who have discovered that their inability to conceive a baby was partly due to male factor infertility. Some couples succeed at becoming pregnant by using a reputable sperm donor.
Others use both an egg donor and a sperm donor to get a healthy embryo that might be transferred to the uterus of the intended mother or the uterus of a suitable surrogate mother by way of IVF.
Check out our link on tips to find a surrogate, or browse our other blog postings that are updated regularly.
If you’re a parent who is struggling with infertility, whether it is male factor infertility or unexplained infertility, we at Made in the USA Surrogacy are equipped to help you find a surrogate mother who will carry your child to term.
We are experienced in surrogacy and all aspects of your surrogacy journey, from helping you select a surrogacy lawyer, to helping you select and manage your surrogacy escrow account. We set up all details with your surrogate compensation so you will not have to guess at how much to pay your surrogate or when to pay her.
Contact our agency today to find a surrogate in California or another surrogacy friendly state!
Contact Us If Thinking About Becoming a Surrogate Mother
Those that take the leap to become a surrogate mother for another couple longing for a baby of their own are already someone special!
We want all surrogate mothers to come to our agency if you have a healthy pregnancy history, and for some reason, this article on Male Factor Infertility has touched you to want to help! Fill out our inquiry here.