Infection and inflammation of the male reproductive system may be an underlying cause of infertility.
How Infections May Affect Fertility
- reduces sperm motility, vitality, count, shape and function
- affects seminal fluids which are important for sperm transport and function
- causes inflammation and production of unstable free radicals (ROS)
- sperm DNA damage
- may cause obstruction resulting in no sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia)
- may trigger sperm antibody production (immunological infertility)
- may induce female infertility if transmitted to the female
- decreases chances of conception and increases rate of miscarriage
- may cause birth defects
Genital tract infections are very common and the majority are acquired from the body’s own microbial flora. Some may be sexually transmitted and may have been present for many years unbeknown to you.
Symptoms may include a urethritis, urethral discharge, discomfort or pain while urinating or during intercourse and swelling. However, in many cases, there may be no symptoms at all, the so-called silent infections. Indeed 80% of Chlamydia infections in women and 50% in men have no symptoms. Silent infections may be present in as many as 20% men with fertility issues.
As many infections may have no symptoms, we feel it is important to ensure that you have been thoroughly investigated, especially if you have a history of long-term unexplained infertility, multiple failed attempts at assisted conception and recurrent miscarriage in your partner.
Andrology Solutions specialise in infection screening for male infertility.
Investigations will depend upon your individual circumstances, and may include a urine test and a semen culture. Most diagnosed bacterial infections can be treated effectively with antibiotics and our doctor will discuss the most effective options for you.
- Comprehensive semen analysis
- Genetic screening
- Oxidative stress levels in semen (ROS test)
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Infection screening
- Testicular ultrasound scanning
- Hormone profiles
- Well man screening