Imagine being 30 something woman without kids in India. All kinds of relatives and neighbourhood aunties are openly discussing your bedroom problems in the open. Women are often dictated by the reproductive role and social norms and any deviation from patriarchal rules of society is met with hurtful comments, isolation and, in some cases, a threat to life itself.
Fertility issues are just not just a women’s problem. The heightened focus on women’s abilities overlooks the underlying issues the male partner might be facing. While women are the first ones to go through all the invasive treatments and medication at the first signs of infertility, it’s time to recognise the problem that the counterpart is facing. The chief causes for male infertility are as follows:.
Obstruction In the Passage of Sperm
During ejaculation, the muscle contractions force the semen into the urethra and out of the penis. Blockage or absence of tubes could be the cause of male infertility. If the male has undergone any kind of vasectomy or injury, infection in his testicles could lead to these blockages. There aren’t obvious symptoms for this condition, but in case of infection, they will be a weird odour or abnormal penis discharge.
Problem With The Sperm
The genetic factors that affect the sperm count and quality could also be a cause for infertility. This happens when tiny fragments of chromosomes are missing in the men’s DNA. The number of ways it could manifest is (1) through the absence of sperms - the semen might not contain any sperm, (2) Low sperm count - ejaculation has a lower number of sperms that are required to get the egg fertilised, (3) Abnormal shape - peculiarly shaped sperm face difficulties penetrating the female surface (4) Poor motility - the tail of the sperm usually helps it to swim and reach the egg, sperms with poor motility have difficulty or do not reach the egg.
Other causes of infertility could be due to functional problems in men like the inability to hold an erection for sexual intercourse, premature ejaculation, disfunction of the testicles caused by an injury, surgery or chemotherapy. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes and multiple sclerosis, can cause erection or ejaculation difficulties. The sperm could also fail in the ability to latch on to the partner’s egg because of the poor immunity in the male partner.
The levels of sex hormones and enzymes produced by the glands have a huge impact on fertility. The pituitary gland in the brain influences the hormone production in the testicles. Failure to make enough of the hormone called gonadotrophin could be another issue to look into while addressing infertility.
Many females are traumatised and made to feel less of a woman when they are not able to have kids. Fertility shaming and emotional turmoil associated with fertility is a real cause in India.