What are the Surgical Treatments Available for Male Infertility?
Infertility is the inability for a man to cause pregnancy in a fertile female. This can be due to low sperm production, blockages or production of abnormal sperms. For one in seven infertile couples, the problem is caused due to male infertility. The condition does not have any external symptoms and can only be diagnosed clinically. Most cases of male fertility are due to low healthy sperm count and only rare cases are due to complete absence of sperm cells.
Causes of Male Infertility
Male infertility is caused by a number of factors and is curable in many cases. In cases where the condition is caused due to sperm antibodies which are caused by vasectomy or injury in the epididymis, a surgery is used to remedy the problem. Type of treatment is decided after detailed diagnosis and examination.
Two-thirds of infertile men face issues with production of sperm in the testes while sperm transport problems are the cause of infertility for one in every five infertile men. Other issues that can cause this condition can be sexual problems that affect the entry of semen into the vagina for fertilisation. One in a hundred couples can face this issue. Hormone problems in the testicles or the pituitary gland can be the cause of male infertility as well.
Surgical treatments for male infertility can correct infertility in cases where non-surgical treatments have failed. Surgery can restore the ability to conceive naturally without other treatments in certain cases. The accepted surgical treatments for male infertility based on the defect encountered are listed below:
A varicocele is a condition when the veins inside the scrotum tend to enlarge and cause a rise in temperature inside the scrotum. This can cause a decrease in blood circulation leading to low production of sperms. Surgery can repair these dilated scrotal veins resulting in the improvement of healthy sperm production. This is a microscopic procedure and hence holds lesser risks compared to other surgical processes. Varicocele repair can remove the need for treatments such as IVF and ICSI in some cases.
Ejaculatory Duct Resection
Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction (EDO) is a condition where ejaculatory ducts have a blockage and prevent proper dispersion of sperms. EDO can be acquired or congenital. Pelvic pain may also be endured due to this issue. This pathological condition can be treated using surgery, thereby restoring the efflux of semen.
This surgical process used to reverse vasectomy can also be used to unblock the efflux of semen in infertile men. This can only be done in cases where the patient has no history of infections in the past, unexplained blockages or trauma. This is performed by a micro-surgeon and is an effective procedure.
In cases where infertility is due to a blockage in the epididymis, this microsurgical procedure can be performed. An epididymal obstruction is commonly found in cases with a history of an injury or infection.