The problem lives privately, beneath the surface. Getting to the root of the problem involves analyzing the man's sperm. If medical testing is so heavily focused on finding the problem in the woman, it does not have a chance to get to the real infertility issue.
As a baby-making agent, sperm must meet certain criteria to be considered healthy and fertile. The parts of the male reproduction system responsible for producing healthy sperm need to be functioning properly. This means at least one testicle has to be able to produce sperm and testosterone levels must be able to continuously launch healthy sperm production.
Infertility tests performed by doctors will be focused on making sure that sperm is being properly carried into the semen and that the sperm is normally shaped and able to move in order to fertilize an egg. Doctors will also take a sperm count to see if it is high enough to make a baby. Sperm counts below 15 million sperm for every millimeter of semen are not fertile.
There are many factors that can create infertility in men. Some are treatable, and some are not. If medication is preventing pregnancy, this is an issue a physician can easily address. Common medicines that present an issue include: antifungal medications, ulcer drugs, chemotherapy, steroids and hormone replacement drugs.
Obviously, something as simple as antifungal medicines can be changed. Cancer patients who are taking chemotherapy, however, may have a larger issue. Men cannot stop chemotherapy just to impregnate their partners without significant risk to their own health. In this case, they may need to wait until the current cycle of chemotherapy is done in order to try conception.
Another cause of infertility may lie in some part of the reproductive process being flawed. This can range from mere retrograde ejaculation, which reverses the flow of sperm to the bladder instead of sending it out of the penis, to injuries to the sperm ducts or veins in the testicles. Men have also had infections and tumors that lead to infertility. These are physical challenges that can be medically addressed.
Psychological issues may require different kinds of treatments. If a couple is having problems in their relationship or a man is have trouble reconciling issues of his past, it can have an adverse effect on his ability to conceive. The issue is compounded if he does not want to talk about it.
One challenge that is very common is overheating of the testicles. Men who take long sessions in the sauna or hot tub or who sit for long periods of time with a laptop across their laps are at risk. They raise the temperature of their scrotum and decrease sperm count. Pants of underwear that are too tight also create this problem.
It is important for the man in a relationship to be fully involved in the process of reversing infertility. Assuming that infertility is a woman's problem is a position that works against a solution. Any infertility challenge should be the concern of both people in a relationship. This is often the first step to getting to the source of the problem.