Avoiding Incurable Infertility in Men

As researchers continue to look into the causes of infertility in men, doctors in Germany have stumbled across what could seem an unlikely culprit; inflammatory infections of the urinary tract. Researchers say upwards of 10% of male infertility could be the result of acute inflammatory urogenital reactions.

These infections, which are not always transmitted sexually, are often easily treated and then thought very little of moving forward. Common diagnoses include urinary tract infections (UTI), Chlamydia, or Escherichia.

The issue arises when the patient does not display symptoms, is not diagnosed, and therefore does not receive treatment. The research, which was compiled by Justus Liebig University Giessen, states that up to 25% of men who submit to a testicular biopsy in an attempt to find a cause for infertility will be found to have asymptomatic inflammatory reactions.

Additionally worrisome is the fact that the research suggests that infertility linked to these sorts of infections is permanent and irreversible. The findings, which were published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International in 2017, suggest men take proper care to have inflammation diagnosed and treated promptly in an effort to avoid irreversible infertility later on. They suggest making screening for these infections a standard part of the initial medical workup for couples who are struggling to conceive naturally.

While the findings are still in their infancy and have not considered things like the long-term effects of chronic prostatitis, they reveal scary numbers for men who do have acute inflammatory infections. According to the article, 10% of patients were found to have no sperm in the ejaculate.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.