It is the abnormal enlargement of the vein that is in the scrotum draining the testicles and it is present in about 10-20% of all men (including teenagers and adults). Its incidence may double on the infertile male population. Despite the fact that most male with varicocele are fertile, the presence of these dilatations in the testicles veins seems to cause alteration of gonadal function and it directly compromises the semen quality, due to a mechanism that has not been made clear yet. The diagnosis can be made upon palpation and/or medical imaging exams and its treatment is surgical.
Approximately 60-70% of patients who undergo surgery present improvement in semen quality from three to twelve months after the procedure. It is important to remember that when the woman is 30 or older waiting for her partner’s semen quality to improve may not be the best option, due to the aging of her eggs.
Infections that may compromise male reproductive system more directly are Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Both are sexually transmitted and usually affect the urethra, but they may also spread to near structures such as the epididymis, the testicles and the prostate, and they may also result in infertility. The treatment is made with antibiotics, and it must be for both the man and his partner.
Professions that offer risk to the seminal quality
There are some activities developed in places that are adverse to reproductive health. Among the factors that compromise the semen quality we point out: excessive heat; heavy metals; organic solvents (used to produce paint); radiation; excessive physical activity; and stress. If one of these factors is identified, it is recommended to study the semen quality. If there is a progressive decrease of quality in the analyzed parameters, it is a good idea to freeze the semen.
Tobacco smoking may compromise the sperm motility. Excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks also produces changes on the steroidogenesis, it may reflect on a decrease in sperm concentration. Illegal drugs such as cocaine and cannabis may also have a deleterious action on spermatogenesis. Moreover, the frequent usage of a laptop on the lap may also increase the testicles’ temperature and it may produce a negative effect on the seminal parameters.
Traumas, either caused by accidents, or caused by any surgical procedure involving testicles and seminal ducts, may generate the presence of antisperm antibodies and taking to sperm agglutination and a possible change on sperm behavior inside the female reproductive system.
It is the total absence of sperm, in the semen ejaculated. It may occur due to a testicles failure to produce sperm or an obstruction or absence of veins that take the sperm from the testicles to the urethra. Approximately 15-20% infertile men are azoospermic, although it is possible to obtain sperm from these men through biopsy.
It is a situation in which the sperm concentration in semen is so low that sperm can only be found after a special semen processing.
It happens when semen, which would normally be ejaculated via the urethra, is redirected to the urinary bladder. In this case, the sperm can be collected in the urine, after ejaculation.