Pre-testicular factors refer to conditions that reduce hormonal stimulation of the testes including:
The prostate gland helps with the production of semen (the fluid that transports sperm). It produces a thick, white fluid that is liquefied by a special protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The fluid is mixed with sperm, produced by the testicles, to create semen.
There are a number of conditions that can affect the prostate gland including:
Testicular factors refer to conditions where the testes produce semen of low quantity and/or poor quality despite adequate hormonal support and include:
- Genetic defects on the Y chromosome
- Abnormal set of chromosomes
- Neoplasm, e.g. seminoma
- Idiopathic failure
- Testicular cancer
- Acrosomal defects affecting egg penetration
- Unexplained sperm deficiencies account for 30% of male infertility.
- Radiation therapy to a testis decreases its function, but infertility can efficiently be avoided by avoiding radiation to both testes.
Post-testicular factors decrease male fertility due to conditions that affect the male genital system after testicular sperm production and include defects of the genital tract as well as problems in ejaculation:
- Vas deferens obstruction
- Lack of Vas deferens, often related to a disease (Cystic Fibrosis)
- Infection, e.g. prostatitis
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Ejaculatory duct obstruction