Infertility can serve as a stumbling block standing in the way of your family dreams. When a couple has trouble conceiving, one of the first tasks that doctors often undertake is determining the infertile party. When the infertility is due to an issue with the male member of the partnership, it can be due to an assortment of fertility-halting physical issues.
Low Sperm Count
As MayoClinic.com reports, most men produce more than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. While it is perfectly normal to produce a sperm quantity slightly below this benchmark, those who produce fewer than 10 million sperm per milliliter of semen may struggle to get their partner pregnant. As would logically seem the case, the more sperm present in each ejaculation, the more likely the sexual act is to result in pregnancy.
Poor Sperm Motility
Sperm motility, or the ability of the sperm to move toward an egg waiting to be fertilized, plays a large part in determining male fertility. Men who produce sperm that are largely amotile will experience fertility issues. When sperm motility is in question, doctors rank the male partner’s sperm motility on a scale of 1 to 4. Men whose sperm specimens earn a rating of 2 or lower may have to take extra measures to impregnate their partners successfully.
Sperm Shape Issues
The shape that sperm generally takes is biologically designed to allow for motility and fertilization of a waiting egg. Men who produce sperm shaped differently than the norm may struggle with infertility issues. The production of irregularly shaped sperm not only has an impact on the sperm’s ability to move toward the egg, but it may also impact the sperm’s ability to actually penetrate the egg surface if it does reach its target.
Men who suffer from Klinefelter’s syndrome not only have the the X and Y chromosomes generally associated with males, but also carry a second X chromosome. One of the primary characteristics of this disorder is low or completely non-existent sperm production, reports MayoClinic.com. Because of this, men who suffer from this syndrome may have to use alternative means to impregnate their partners effectively.
While testicles rest outside the body in most cases, in some men, one or both testicles fail to descend properly. While this medical issue does not impact a man’s ability to have sexual intercourse or produce sperm, the failure of the testicle or testicles to descend can lead to reduced sperm count, as these sperm-producing organs lay in a much warmer environment.