Causes of Male Infertility
Sperm is considered normal when sperm concentration is above 15 million per ml of seminal fluid, with good mobility, that is over 32% front accelerated motion and normal sperm morphology over 4%. There are many and varied reasons for male infertily:
– Oligoasthenospermia: The most common cause of male infertility is idiopathic, which means, while everything looks normal (anatomy, hormones, sex drive), the testis does not produce normal sperm, but infertile.
– Varicocele: Another common reason for disruption of sperm is a varicocele, which is the concentration of varicose veins in the scrotum. The abnormal twisting of these veins leads to harmful warming in the testicle, which can be detrimental to sperm. This is due to the fact that increasing temperature even one degree in the scrotum may be harmful.
– A jam along the route where the sperm is moving: Male infertility may also be due to a jam along the route where the sperm is moving. An infection or trauma can cause scarring and can block the epididymis (organ close to the testis where sperm is stored and activated before ejaculation). Hernia surgery, previous vasectomy and cystic fibrosis may also block the seminiferous tubules. Finally, the prostate may have cyst or stone that blocks sperm entry in the urethra during ejaculation.
– Professional, environmental and psychological factors: Professional, environmental and psychological factors, such as high levels of anxiety, sleep disorders, drugs, smoking, excessive alcohol, oils, toxins, growth hormones in food, chemical or heat exposure, long-term use of Jacuzzi or hot baths can also cause male infertility.
– Α genetic defect (e.g. syndrome Kleinefelter, cystic fibrosis)
– Azoospermia: Azoospermia is the complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate which can be caused due to a genetic defect or due to an unrecognized cause. There are two kinds of azoospermia: the Obstructive azoospermia and Non-Obstructive Azoospermia.
The Obstructive Azoospermia (OA), is due to some involvement in the reproductive tract. For example, sperm is produced in the testis, but is trapped within it.
The Non-Obstructive Azoospermia (NOA) is the result of serious halted or insufficient sperm production. Usually elevated levels of the Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and small testes are associated with Non-Obstructive Azoospermia.