Time to see a male fertility specialist? Six signs to point the way

Time to see a male fertility specialist? Six signs to point the way

Almost everyone is now aware that fertility issues can be caused by both the female and male partner, or by either one. Male infertility, once considered a “hush hush” matter has now come into the open, with the provision of diagnostic tests and treatment to overcome this problem. Male reproductive issues can be caused by many factors such as low or abnormal sperm production or function, injury to reproductive organs, illnesses, health problems and lifestyle choices.

There are some symptoms which could lead to seeking help from a specialist. Six of them are listed below:

Inability to conceive after a year of unprotected sex: Many men do not realise there is a problem with fertility until they try to conceive. Though some unsuccessful tries should not cause concern, if regular unprotected sexual intercourse over a period of six months to a year has not resulted in conception, it may be time to see a fertility specialist.

Ejection abnormalities: Another sign is if you are experiencing irregularities in ejaculation, such as reduced amount or changes, especially with regard to colour, consistency or texture. If the colour is yellowish, rather than the normal light grey, it could mean that urine is present in the semen, which could be a sign of infertility. If the semen colour veers towards green or pink, it may represent an issue with the prostate. The texture of the semen is normally thick. If it changes to a more liquidy ejaculate which is very sticky, there could be a medical condition.

Erectile dysfunction: This is one of the more obvious reasons for inability to conceive. Depression and stress can lead to this complaint but they are not the only causes.  Some medical conditions, including diabetes, lifestyle habits such as too much cycling and even certain medications can contribute to this.  So it is best to check with your specialist if there is such a problem.

Pain or swelling in testicles: Either of these symptoms should be investigated as soon as possible. They could be caused by infections, testicular torsion (rotation of the testicle) or a hernia. These could affect sperm production. If it is a painless lump, it should be checked for testicular cancer which can damage sperm. There could also be an ache in the scrotum or lower abdomen.

Decreased libido: If there is a major reduction or sudden loss in sex drive, it may be time to seek help. A lowered libido can be considered normal with increased age, but the same can also be caused by anxiety, depression or stress. It could also be due to a physical condition that triggers a signal in the pituitary gland, which creates hormones like testosterone which is essential for fertility.

Physical signs:
Loss of smell: can be linked with a genetic disorder, Kallmann syndrome, which prevents a person from completing puberty. If left untreated, it can lead to infertility.
Obesity: Lower testosterone levels, reduced sperm quality and poor fertility are found in overweight males.
Loss of hair: Some men with facial and body hair loss have decreased sperm quality, with regard to concentration, morphology and motility.

While failed attempts at conception can be frustrating, stressful and depressing, it is not the end of the line. Once a specialist is contacted, it will be found that most fertility issues can be treated. We, at Andrology Center, offer not only semen analysis testing, but also the sperm DFI (DNA fragmentation index) testing, showing the level of damage to the sperm DNA. We use the SCSA (sperm chromatin structure assay) test and are proud to state that we are the only authorised laboratory in India to carry out this genuine test. Accurate results are guaranteed, with the top end equipment and technology we use. Such results are beneficial to both the fertility specialist and the patient, for treatment.

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