What Factors Influence Male Fertility?

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Dr. Anthony Cheung, MBBS, MPH, FRCSC, Fertility Specialist, discusses factors that influence male fertility.

Dr. Anthony Cheung, MBBS, MPH, FRCSC, Fertility Specialist, discusses factors that influence male fertility.

Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Anthony Cheung, MBBS, MPH, FRCSC     

Duration: 2 minutes, 33 seconds    

A man can keep on producing sperm throughout his adult years.  

So he’s more subjected to environmental toxins. If a bodybuilder uses anabolic steroids he may feel better muscle bulk but in reality the sperm is actually worse. So a lot of people don’t realize that’s a factor for why the sperm count is low or no sperm at all. 

For man with diabetes or hypertension sometimes the condition or the drug itself can affect erectile function. As a result the diabetes needs to be better controlled and if the particular drug is influencing erectile function that needs to be discussed with a family doctor and consider changing to another better one.  

An important interpretation of the semen analysis is to think of it as only a screening test. So don’t look at the numbers in great detail unless they’re really in the extreme or no sperm at all or consistently no actively moving sperm. 

Otherwise, the probability of conceiving is more the key rather than yes or no. Recreational drugs, particularly marijuana, can also affect the sperm count or motility. And sometimes even though those numbers are normal it can affect sperm function in a subtle manner. 

Treatment for many infertilities essentially boils down to three. If the sperm parameters are adequate intrauterine insemination or IUI is one option. Otherwise if the sperm are not there then you have to consider therapeutic donor insemination or TDI. 

But sometimes if you can get enough sperm you can consider in vitro fertilization or commonly called test tube baby together with a procedure where you inject a single sperm in to each mature egg called intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI. 

For fertility treatment you have to direct at the underlying causes. If you can’t find any treatment there are a few methods to increase the chance of conceiving from IUI to medication or hormone injections and finally IVF treatment.  

For a couple who tried to conceive the first thing to do is to see the family physician, have their situation reviewed and if needed, they can then be referred to see a fertility specialist.

Presenter: Dr. Anthony Cheung, Fertility Specialist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Fertility Specialist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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