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Male infertility is as common as female infertility; if not more. Even though around 40% of infertility cases are caused due to medical problems with the male partner, it’s often difficult to detect the reason for male infertility. Fortunately, it’s now possible to use different assisted reproductive techniques to achieve conception.
Have things changed?
There was a time when infertility was considered to be a problem that only women faced. If a couple was unable to have a baby for a very long time, the woman in the relationship typically would be blamed for it. The topic of male fertility was always taboo; maybe it was the way in which men shielded their fragile egos from getting hurt. It’s also why the very unique problems that the infertile man has to deal with are rarely discussed.
Though we do vilify the fact that India is a male dominated society and women have to bear the brunt of a number of things’ in a way, being a male dominated society has also helped. Even if it is identified that a man is infertile, he doesn’t really face the kind of rejection that a woman faces. The man would get a lot of sympathy and understanding. Luckily, today, the male infertility issue has been dragged out of the shadows and is being discussed openly, though not widely.
The different challenges
- Its often very difficult to detect reasons for male infertility and at times there is no specific reason for the infertility either; this is what makes the treatment very experimental and difficult
- Doctors have to try out various options before they declare that they have been successful or that they are unable to treat the issue
- Its why these treatments are also very dragged out; the man will have to take various medications and this treatment can continue for up to 2 years
- In case allopathy fails, patients tend to transition to homeopathy or ayurveda- this too can be a very lengthy affair
- This prolonged treatment makes the man reach a frustration point
The one resource is to opt for assisted reproductive techniques. At times, these can be quite effective in treating male infertility.
Assisted reproductive techniques – Some Facts
- Low awareness
- High cost (not everyone can afford it)
- The Indian mindset isn’t fully open to these techniques yet, due to ethical/moral issues
- The vast majority of men have simply no way of judging their fertility before getting married (unless, of course, they have had a premarital affair and fathered a pregnancy- it is the ultimate proof of male fertility!).
Male infertility reasons
In some rare cases, the men are aware that they are infertile; the different reasons of male infertility are:
- Hypospadias (the urethra is located at the base of the penis and the semen cannot be put in the vagina)
- Undescended testes (both the testes are not in the scrotum)
When a couple is being tested for infertility, the man must always be tested first. Tests for the woman are far more complicated, invasive and expensive - it is much simpler to find out if the man has a problem.
Even though around 40% of infertility cases are caused due to medical problem with the male partner, it’s often difficult to detect the reason for male infertility. Fortunately, it’s now possible to use different assisted reproductive techniques to achieve conception.
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