Best Treatment for Low Sperm Count and Other Male Infertility Issues

Infertility may be caused by a variety of things, some relating to the male partner and others to the female partner. When experiencing infertility, it's best to speak with a fertility specialist to help pinpoint the problem so that it may be treated effectively. Both partners should speak with the specialist and will likely undergo tests and exams to help determine what may be causing the infertility. One of the more common problems that men have regarding fertility is a low sperm count.

This may be caused by a variety of factors and it's helpful to discuss these possible causes with the specialist. A low sperm count means that the individual ejaculates fewer sperm than what is normal. In many cases, it is considered a low number if there are fewer than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen present. It's pretty simple to understand why ejaculating fewer sperm may reduce one's chances of conceiving. With fewer sperm present, the odds that one will fertilize the egg decline. Of course, this does not mean that it will not happen and as long as sperm are present there is still a chance of conception.

The best treatment for low sperm count will depend on the cause. If a condition known as varicocele is present-this condition is marked by a swapping of the veins draining the testicles-surgery may be used to correct the problem. If there's an infection of the reproductive tract that is hurting sperm production, antibiotics may be prescribed to fight the infection. This may not always improve fertility, however. In some cases, fewer sperm may be caused by hormone levels that are off. When this is the case, hormone treatment and medicines may be used to bring levels back into balance.

There are certain lifestyle adjustments that may be made to help improve sperm count such as switching from briefs to boxers or avoiding long bike rides. When the testicles overheat, as they may when they are closer to the body such as wearing briefs or while bicycling on a hard seat, sperm production may be affected.

Finally, for the treatment of low sperm count or many other male infertility issues, assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization may be used. This procedure involves the combination of sperm and eggs to create an embryo, which is transferred to the uterus where it may develop. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, ICSI, involves the direct injection of a sperm into an egg. This may be used in cases of severe male infertility.

10 reports on HCV outcomes by demographic

Although hepatitis C cure rates continue to increase in the direct-acting antiviral era, especially in developed nations, some individuals still fail to achieve sustained virologic responses and others may have more risk factors for infection or transmission.

Recent studies have focused on defining risk factors based on observable demographic features, such as age, ethnicity and lifestyle. The following reports include results showing that African-American patients face lower SVR rates, women who inject drugs are at a higher risk for infection, HCV rates among men who have sex with men remain steady, and HCV prevalence is significantly lower in Iran compared with other Middle Eastern countries.

African-American HCV patients face significantly lower SVR rates

African-American patients were significantly less likely to achieve sustained virologic response after hepatitis C treatment with direct-acting antivirals compared with white patients, according to recently published data.

“Historically, race has played a major role in chronic hepatitis C rates and treatment responses with African-Americans being disproportionately affected,” Jihane N. Benhammou, MD, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues wrote. “The disproportionate HCV infection rates in African-Americans and higher risk of developing HCC independently of fibrosis underscores the importance of understanding why these differences exist.” Read more

HCV hospitalizations increasing among baby boomers, men, drug users

Hospitalization for hepatitis C increased significantly between 2005 and 2014, especially among baby boomers, men, African-American and Hispanic patients, and patients with mental health and substance abuse disorders, according to data from a Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project statistical brief.

“Baby boomers are aging and I think that’s where we’re seeing the greatest increase in hospitalizations,” Quyen Ngo-Metzger, MD, MPH, from the Harvard School of Medicine, Massachusetts, and lead study author, told Healio Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “What’s really interesting, though, is that if you look at both the young age groups, say 18 to 50 years, and the older age groups, both of those age groups showed large numbers of comorbid diseases.” Read more

Asian patients achieve SVR with ravidasvir, ritonavir, danoprevir, ribavirin combo

Ravidasvir plus ritonavir-boosted danoprevir with ribavirin for 12 weeks resulted in 100% sustained virologic response among a cohort of Asian patients with hepatitis C genotype 1 without cirrhosis, according to recently published results of a phase 2 study.

“Many patients are intolerant or ineligible for interferon-based therapies. The efficacy of interferon-based therapies can be affected by factors such as cirrhosis status, HCV genotype (GT), IL28B genotype, etc.,” Jia-Horng Kao, MD, from the National Taiwan University College of Medicine and Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “All-oral, interferon-free regimens of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are better tolerated than interferon-based regimens with improved sustained virologic response (SVR) rates and shorter treatment duration.” Read more

Inclusive criteria, generic drugs effective for HCV in limited resource nations

Researchers from the University of Cairo analyzed the rates of sustained virologic response among patients with hepatitis C in Egypt since the introduction of direct-acting antivirals to share data on the planning and prioritization of treatment in a nation with limited resources and high prevalence of HCV.

Prioritization based on fibrosis stage was not effective and enrollment for DAA therapy increased once the program included all stages of fibrosis. Additionally, the availability of generic drugs reduced costs and helped increased enrollment in the program. Read more

Focus on children with viral hepatitis imperative for elimination goals

Recent data revealed that, worldwide, 52 million children are living with viral hepatitis, compared with 2.1 million children with HIV or AIDS, according to data presented at the World Hepatitis Summit 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil.

“We must act and treat as many children as possible. The economic and social benefit of early hepatitis C treatment in children is substantial,” Manal El-Sayed, MD, professor of pediatrics at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, said in a related press release. “This includes avoiding disease progression, removing social stigma and improving activity and school performance, and reducing fatigue. However, the fundamental principle is to avoid transmission by adopting ‘cure as prevention’ at an early age and before high risk behaviors emerge that enable transmission.” Read more

Women with HCV face low ovarian reserve, infertility, miscarriage

Women of child-bearing age with hepatitis C showed early signs of menopause, putting them at greater risk for infertility, gestational diabetes and miscarriage, according to a recently published study. Sustained virologic response positively impacted these outcomes.

“We report that the relationship between HCV infection and reproductive status in women is much deeper and broader than previously thought, with profound consequences for reproductive function confirmed in cohorts from different countries,” the researchers wrote. “It remains to be assessed whether antiviral therapy at a very early age can positively influence the occurrence of miscarriages and to prevent ovarian senescence. … The effect of treatment with new generation antiviral drugs could therefore be prospectively assessed with this dual purpose.” Read more

Women injecting drugs at higher risk for HCV than men

Women who inject drugs are about 39% more likely to become infected with hepatitis C virus than men who inject drugs, research suggests. A range of factors could account for the disparity, the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“Our findings provide important evidence that sex disparities in HCV acquisition exist independent of selected behavioral risk and demographic factors,” researcher Kimberly Page, PhD, MPH, division chief of the department of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, and colleagues wrote. “When considering HCV risk differential among women, multiple factors including biological, social and network factors — as well as differential access to prevention services — need to be considered.” Read more

No decline in HCV rates among HIV-positive men who have sex with men

Hepatitis C incidence among HIV-positive men who have sex with men has shown no significant decline in Europe, though the trends differ by geographical region and age, according to results of a recently published study.

“While HCV incidence appears to have stabilized in Western Europe and remained stable in Southern Europe, a recent increase in HCV incidence was observed in Northern Europe,” the researchers wrote. “Interestingly, higher HIV RNA levels, recent HIV infection and younger age were associated with higher HCV incidence. The time from HIV seroconversion to HCV infection has significantly shortened in recent years. Hence, routine and continued surveillance following HIV diagnosis is needed.” Read more

Rise of HCV among reproductive-age women suggests need for screening

A recent substantial increase in hepatitis C virus infection among reproduction-aged women in the United States highlights a need for routine HCV screening during pregnancy, according to recent data published in Annals Internal Medicine.

“The prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women has been difficult to determine, because HCV screening is not performed routinely in this population but rather is risk based,” Kathleen N. Ly, MPH, from the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC, and colleagues wrote. “As a result, many HCV infections may go undetected because of under-recognition of risk behaviors, as well as concerns about stigmatization or legal consequences if risk behaviors are disclosed.” Read more

HCV prevalence lower in Iran vs. other Middle Eastern countries

The seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus is lower in Iran compared with other countries in the Middle East, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. However, investigators found significant heterogeneity across studies, and thus concluded their evidence is limited.

“Our results demonstrate that the overall prevalence of HCV infection among [the] Iranian general population is relatively low compared to other developing countries,” they wrote. “However, the significant heterogeneity among included studies limits this conclusion. Therefore, further high-quality studies are recommended to provide more robust evidence on the prevalence of HCV among [the] general population.” Read more

Although hepatitis C cure rates continue to increase in the direct-acting antiviral era, especially in developed nations, some individuals still fail to achieve sustained virologic responses and others may have more risk factors for infection or transmission.

Recent studies have focused on defining risk factors based on observable demographic features, such as age, ethnicity and lifestyle. The following reports include results showing that African-American patients face lower SVR rates, women who inject drugs are at a higher risk for infection, HCV rates among men who have sex with men remain steady, and HCV prevalence is significantly lower in Iran compared with other Middle Eastern countries.

African-American HCV patients face significantly lower SVR rates

African-American patients were significantly less likely to achieve sustained virologic response after hepatitis C treatment with direct-acting antivirals compared with white patients, according to recently published data.

“Historically, race has played a major role in chronic hepatitis C rates and treatment responses with African-Americans being disproportionately affected,” Jihane N. Benhammou, MD, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues wrote. “The disproportionate HCV infection rates in African-Americans and higher risk of developing HCC independently of fibrosis underscores the importance of understanding why these differences exist.” Read more

HCV hospitalizations increasing among baby boomers, men, drug users

Hospitalization for hepatitis C increased significantly between 2005 and 2014, especially among baby boomers, men, African-American and Hispanic patients, and patients with mental health and substance abuse disorders, according to data from a Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project statistical brief.

“Baby boomers are aging and I think that’s where we’re seeing the greatest increase in hospitalizations,” Quyen Ngo-Metzger, MD, MPH, from the Harvard School of Medicine, Massachusetts, and lead study author, told Healio Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “What’s really interesting, though, is that if you look at both the young age groups, say 18 to 50 years, and the older age groups, both of those age groups showed large numbers of comorbid diseases.” Read more

Asian patients achieve SVR with ravidasvir, ritonavir, danoprevir, ribavirin combo

Ravidasvir plus ritonavir-boosted danoprevir with ribavirin for 12 weeks resulted in 100% sustained virologic response among a cohort of Asian patients with hepatitis C genotype 1 without cirrhosis, according to recently published results of a phase 2 study.

“Many patients are intolerant or ineligible for interferon-based therapies. The efficacy of interferon-based therapies can be affected by factors such as cirrhosis status, HCV genotype (GT), IL28B genotype, etc.,” Jia-Horng Kao, MD, from the National Taiwan University College of Medicine and Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “All-oral, interferon-free regimens of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are better tolerated than interferon-based regimens with improved sustained virologic response (SVR) rates and shorter treatment duration.” Read more

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Inclusive criteria, generic drugs effective for HCV in limited resource nations

Researchers from the University of Cairo analyzed the rates of sustained virologic response among patients with hepatitis C in Egypt since the introduction of direct-acting antivirals to share data on the planning and prioritization of treatment in a nation with limited resources and high prevalence of HCV.

Prioritization based on fibrosis stage was not effective and enrollment for DAA therapy increased once the program included all stages of fibrosis. Additionally, the availability of generic drugs reduced costs and helped increased enrollment in the program. Read more

Focus on children with viral hepatitis imperative for elimination goals

Recent data revealed that, worldwide, 52 million children are living with viral hepatitis, compared with 2.1 million children with HIV or AIDS, according to data presented at the World Hepatitis Summit 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil.

“We must act and treat as many children as possible. The economic and social benefit of early hepatitis C treatment in children is substantial,” Manal El-Sayed, MD, professor of pediatrics at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, said in a related press release. “This includes avoiding disease progression, removing social stigma and improving activity and school performance, and reducing fatigue. However, the fundamental principle is to avoid transmission by adopting ‘cure as prevention’ at an early age and before high risk behaviors emerge that enable transmission.” Read more

Women with HCV face low ovarian reserve, infertility, miscarriage

Women of child-bearing age with hepatitis C showed early signs of menopause, putting them at greater risk for infertility, gestational diabetes and miscarriage, according to a recently published study. Sustained virologic response positively impacted these outcomes.

“We report that the relationship between HCV infection and reproductive status in women is much deeper and broader than previously thought, with profound consequences for reproductive function confirmed in cohorts from different countries,” the researchers wrote. “It remains to be assessed whether antiviral therapy at a very early age can positively influence the occurrence of miscarriages and to prevent ovarian senescence. … The effect of treatment with new generation antiviral drugs could therefore be prospectively assessed with this dual purpose.” Read more

Women injecting drugs at higher risk for HCV than men

Women who inject drugs are about 39% more likely to become infected with hepatitis C virus than men who inject drugs, research suggests. A range of factors could account for the disparity, the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“Our findings provide important evidence that sex disparities in HCV acquisition exist independent of selected behavioral risk and demographic factors,” researcher Kimberly Page, PhD, MPH, division chief of the department of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, and colleagues wrote. “When considering HCV risk differential among women, multiple factors including biological, social and network factors — as well as differential access to prevention services — need to be considered.” Read more

PAGE BREAK

No decline in HCV rates among HIV-positive men who have sex with men

Hepatitis C incidence among HIV-positive men who have sex with men has shown no significant decline in Europe, though the trends differ by geographical region and age, according to results of a recently published study.

“While HCV incidence appears to have stabilized in Western Europe and remained stable in Southern Europe, a recent increase in HCV incidence was observed in Northern Europe,” the researchers wrote. “Interestingly, higher HIV RNA levels, recent HIV infection and younger age were associated with higher HCV incidence. The time from HIV seroconversion to HCV infection has significantly shortened in recent years. Hence, routine and continued surveillance following HIV diagnosis is needed.” Read more

Rise of HCV among reproductive-age women suggests need for screening

A recent substantial increase in hepatitis C virus infection among reproduction-aged women in the United States highlights a need for routine HCV screening during pregnancy, according to recent data published in Annals Internal Medicine.

“The prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women has been difficult to determine, because HCV screening is not performed routinely in this population but rather is risk based,” Kathleen N. Ly, MPH, from the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC, and colleagues wrote. “As a result, many HCV infections may go undetected because of under-recognition of risk behaviors, as well as concerns about stigmatization or legal consequences if risk behaviors are disclosed.” Read more

HCV prevalence lower in Iran vs. other Middle Eastern countries

The seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus is lower in Iran compared with other countries in the Middle East, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. However, investigators found significant heterogeneity across studies, and thus concluded their evidence is limited.

“Our results demonstrate that the overall prevalence of HCV infection among [the] Iranian general population is relatively low compared to other developing countries,” they wrote. “However, the significant heterogeneity among included studies limits this conclusion. Therefore, further high-quality studies are recommended to provide more robust evidence on the prevalence of HCV among [the] general population.” Read more

Getting Used to Giving Infertility Injections

Are you planning to undergo in vitro fertilization, but are worried about the infertility injections that you have to give? Well this is unduly one of the most difficult parts of the process of IVF, but it is a means to an end and you will soon get your confidence with the needles and be able to do it without being scared.

IVF is the most successful form of infertility treatment available and the science behind it is improving the statistics of success all the time. Getting pregnant with the process normally takes a few cycles, so getting used to giving yourself the injections is really a must.

It is completely normal to be scared of needles and the idea of ​​giving them to yourself can be very confrontating and intimidating. The injections that are given through IVF are very safe and you can not seriously hurt yourself. Quite often the spouse will help with giving the injections in order to be more involved with and support of the process and relieve some of the stress on the woman.

There are two main types of injection that are used to deliver the fertility: intramuscular and subcutaneous. The type that you are given depends on what the doctor deems to be the right one for your situation and physiology. Intramuscular type injections are entered into the muscle and subcutaneous are done just under the skin. They are less painful and easier to give than intravenous needles, which are often used for blood tests.

The idea of ​​giving oneself injections is understandably quite frightening for many women. If you feel very nervous about the proposal, then it is possible for a nurse at your IVF clinic to help you with the process until you become more confident.

Taking the injections should be done in a quiet and tranquil place such as your bedroom or bathroom. Many women find it effective to numb the injection site with some ice or by using a numbing agent that can be bought from a drugstore.

it may take a little while for the fear of the injections to subside and to feel confident giving oneself the injections. However, it is just one of the steps closer towards becoming a mother and parent and you should try not to make the process too big and scary in your mind by focusing on the end result.

Dealing With Infertility

Coping with infertility can be a difficult situation to overcome. Studies have shown that the mental anguish women who are struggling with infertility go through is similar to someone going through an illness.

To make things worse, people may tell you that because of your anxiety, you are actually causing yourself to become infertile, which is not true as was proven in current studies.

Your body is going through a whirlwind of emotions like loss, anger, denial, jealousy and shame, but this is all normal. You may feel the loss of the child you are never going to have, anger that this has to happen to you, denial that this really is not a problem and you'll get pregnant next month, jealousy for women who can conceive without any problems and shame for not being able to get pregnant. It's a mixed bag of emotions where you have absolutely no control over how well the fertility treatments will work out in the end.

Infertility can put a huge strain on your relationship also. Not only are the procedures costing creating a strain on a couple financially, but it can bring dramatic sexual tension to couples trying to get pregnant making sex a chore. Through the inability to conceive, the woman may fear abandonment with her partner leaving her for someone who can actually have children.

With an endless gamut of emotions coursing through your body, you need a release on how to cope with the depression that you're feeling. Some coping strategies include:

Do not keep your emotions bottled up inside you. Take time and allow yourself to feel the pain, anger, frustration and heartache.

Search around for support groups, friends, online forums, places where people will listen and can relate with what you are going through. Seek professional help either through couples counseling or on your own.

Find an outlet in life where you can release your stress and anxiety. There are activities like yoga, acupuncture or indulge in a favorite hobby, where you can go to relax and feel good.

Keep communication open between yourself and your partner. Discuss your hopes and fears, but remember that men and women handle stress differently. In case your partner chooses to bottle his emotions, let him know that you are here when he's ready to talk.

Continue on with your life and keep things fun and exciting. Do not let your problems with infertility take over how you live your life. Make sex exciting and remember what truly welcomed you and your partner together.

Endometriosis As a Cause of Infertility

Endometriosis is one of the highest recorded conditions related to infertility. About 75% of total infertile cases are caused by biological make-up problems, including utero formation and pelvic conditions.

About 30% to 40% of the women suffering from Endrometriosis are also reported to be infertile. Although the relation of endometriosis and infertility is still to be established, the presence of masses of tissues and scarrings in the pelvic and utero area brought on by the conditions is one of the many causes of infertility.

Endometriosis is defined as the condition wherein Endometrium tissue grows and lines not only the uterine linings, but also organisms like intestines, pelvis, vaginal walls, fallopian tubes, etc. These deposits in illegally areas cause menstruation to backflow onto the fallopian tubes and cause scarrings along the way. These abrasions have been pointed to play a role in infertility.

The endometrial tissues outside the uterus expand and thicken and are shed during the start of a menstrual cycle. When the blood pools in the abdominal cavity, it forms scar tissues that can block the fallopian tubes. As studies have it, the blockages in the fallopian tubes and vaginal canal will prevent the completion of the ovulation cycle and reduce the chances of carrying an embryo upon fertilization.

Additionally, the presence of endometriosis cause hormonal imbalance that directly disposes ovulation and menstruation cycles. Thus, fertility is affected.

Endometriosis is further categorized into: Reproductive Area Endometriosis, Gastro-intestinal Endometriosis, Urinary Tract Endometriosis, Lung Endometriosis and Skin Endometriosis.

The reproductive area endometriosis involves the growth of tissues in ovaries, outside surface of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ligaments within the uterus and organs within the abdominal cavity.

Spotting the early signs of Reproductive Area Endometriosis

Knowing when the condition strikes takes a number of diagnoses before a conclusion can be arrived at. Spotting the signs of the condition may be difficult, as Endometriosis does not follow a specific pattern.

Some women who were found to have Endometriosis exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Painful menstrual cycle
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Lower back pains
  • Irregular Menstruation cycles, with heavy or excessive bleeding
  • Painful bowel movements and urination

Pelvic pain is the most common and the easiest symptom to spot, as it may be experienced continuously or intermittently throughout the menstrual cycle. As endometriosis is most common to occur in people with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, pelvic pain may occur after taking meals. The pelvic pain that is experienced during ovulations is rather acute, and is sometimes dismissed as a small twinge.

Experienced during the early hours before the ovulation process, the pain may last for days and well into the menstrual period. The pain is caused by the stretching of the ovaries during ovulation, which which endometrial tissues have grown on the surface of the ovary. The pain is often described to be pinching and stabbing pains in the ovaries and tubes that radiate through the pelvic, abdominal and thigh area.

Endometriosis in the main reproductive system is characterized by ectopic pregnancies, dysmenorrheal or painful abdominal cramps during menstrual periods, miscarriages and chronic pelvic pain. With alteration in the uterine shape and make-up, infertility is a most common result of endometriosis.

Treating Endometriosis: Treating Infertility

This condition is considered as a progressive disease that tends to worsen and recur even after several treatments. A laparoscopy, an outpatient surgical procedure, is often recommended to patients who wish to confirm the diagnosis of the condition. This procedure is necessary to conclude the presence of endometriosis, as it can not be diagnosed based on the symptoms alone. As such, there are also cases wherein the patient is asymptomatic, or does not exhibit any symptoms at all.

After the diagnosis, your physician will most likely recommend medications and surgery, depending upon the stage of endometriosis (minimal, mild, moderate or intensive). These stages are based on the amount of scarring tissue found. In several cases, surgery is suggested so as to increase the chances of conception.

Once there is a lessening of the endometrial, the body's hormonal levels will slowly stabilize and encourage regular ovulation and normal menstruation cycles.