Causes of infertility in men
Fertility disorders in men are most commonly evident in reduced sperm quality. This may be characterized by insufficient production of normally formed (morphology) and appropriately mobile (motility) sperm, and/or by a reduced quantity (concentration).
Reduced fertility (subfertility) in men is one of the most common causes of involuntary childlessness.
Significantly reduced sperm quality (in terms of quantity, motility and form of the sperm cells) diminishes the likelihood of fertilizing egg cells by natural means.
Causes of significantly reduced sperm quality
Mumps in childhood, for example, can cause irreversible damage to the function of the testicular tissue.
The build-up of heat caused by varicose veins disrupts spermatogenesis: a temperature difference as little as 0.7 C can be significant. Also the presence of a varicocele increases the concentration of damaging free radicals in the testes.
Here the warmth of the body itself disrupts spermatogenesis. This can cause irreversible damage.
For men as for women, hormonal disorders can have a negative impact on sperm production. For example if the body produces too little testosterone, this can lead to reduced or non-existent sperm production.
Heavy consumption of nicotine or alcohol can affect sperm quality. Anabolic substances, excessive consumption of caffeine drinks, or regular contact with certain chemicals or sprays can reduce the fertility of sperm.
Trauma to the testes (e.g. cycling accident) in childhood, blocked sperm ducts, tumor surgery, diabetes mellitus, stress.
Solutions for male fertility problems
Achieving conception despite male fertility problems is one of our key focus areas. In many cases where the causes of infertility can be treated, normal male fertility can be restored.
The introduction of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection = injection of a sperm cell into the mature egg cell, using a glass capillary) in 1992 presented a major advance in the treatment of male fertility problems. Since then it has been possible for us to achieve successful conception even in many cases where sperm quality is significantly reduced.
Another advance is the introduction of IMSI (intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection). This allows improved assessment of morphological abnormalities through digitally enhanced high-magnification microscopic imaging of the sperm cells.
Selected sperm cells are then used for injection into the egg cells. We recommend IMSI for couples who wish to conceive but have a large proportion of morphologically abnormal sperm cells.
Counseling for men
The subject of male fertility receives too little attention in our society and is to some extent taboo.
Men’s counseling allows these issues to be discussed in an atmosphere of trust with a leading fertility expert, and to find individualized solutions and ways to fulfill the wish for a child.