We get a lot of messages from men who are quietly struggling with the stress of not being successful in siring a child. Some of these men have had tests done to confirm infertility on their part, others have simply concluded that they are the problem as their past partners have gone on to conceive with other men.
Amazingly, a lot of these men are stuck with this diagnosis without knowing what to do next. This is mostly out of fear and shame that comes from the stigma associated with infertility in our African culture.
There is also limited resources and information on the topic of Male infertility. This is our motivation at Hannah’s Orison, to shed light on this topic by creating awareness on what Male infertility is and the various treatment options available.
Step 1: Understand what is Infertility
Infertility is normally defined as not conceiving after 12 months (6months if the woman is over 35 years) of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.
There are 2 types of infertility:
- Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year of having sex without using birth control methods.
- Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been able to get pregnant at least once, but now are unable.
You can read more on infertility and some of the causes here.
Step 2: Get your body healthy to improve chances of conception
As soon as you and your partner decide to start trying to conceive, there are things that can help you get a head start. This will include:
- Lifestyle changes to ensure optimal health, such as; reducing alcohol intake, reducing smoking and consuming better diet. You can read more on this here.
- You can also take dietary supplements that will boost your sperm quality.
Step 3 – Fertility test
So after 6months to 1 year of being unsuccessful in conceiving, you should have a Semen Analysis test done. The test will determine if a man is infertile and whether low sperm count or sperm dysfunction is the reason behind infertility. You can read more about this test, where/how it is done, what it costs etc here.
Step 4 – Treatment
Once you have the results of the testing, you can begin to discuss options for improving your fertility. The most common cause of male infertility will be poor sperm health( Low sperm count, low sperm Motility, poor/abnormal sperm shape).
The treatment option will depend on the problem identified, probabilities of success, risks and cost. Some couples will want to do the least invasive, least expensive option first even if it has the lowest probability of success.
Some of the options could be:
- Medication – including dietary supplements to improve sperm parameters (count, motility morphology). You can see here our supplements that improve sperm parameters.
- IUI – Artificial insemination, also known as intrauterine insemination (IUI), is a technique that involves placing sperm inside the woman’s uterus with a catheter to achieve fertilization.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process in which mature eggs are removed from your body and then fertilized with sperm in a lab dish.
You can read on the types of fertility treatment available in Kenya and their costs here.
You can also read on the benefits of supplements on treatment of Male infertility here.
Knowing the cause of your infertility is very important as it enables you identify options available to address your problem.
Taking action as soon as possible is best as the earlier the problem is identified then the earlier the problem can be addressed.
Also it is important to note that fertility in both men and women decreases with age and therefore more reason to start on possible options early.
Not taking action is only postponing the infertility problem. It is not a solution. Save yourself a lot of time and avoid unnecessary stress by taking action immediately. A lot of men have been surprised by how simple it was to overcome their infertility once they took action.