Are you and your partner struggling to become pregnant following vasectomy reversal surgery? Many factors affect the success rate of this procedure, including the potential development of anti-sperm antibodies. While this is a less common cause of male infertility, it’s still a factor worth exploring.
What are Anti-Sperm Antibodies?
Under normal conditions, sperm only exists within a man’s closed reproductive system. The tubules through which sperm travel don’t mix with other parts of the body. However, if sperm enters the bloodstream for any reason, the body’s immune system perceives the sperm as a foreign protein and produces anti-sperm antibodies in response.
Anti-sperm antibodies may cause sperm to clump together, reducing their ability to swim and subsequently reach the female egg. In rare cases, the antibodies can also cover the head of the sperm, rendering them unable to penetrate and fertilize the egg.
What Causes Anti-Sperm Antibodies?
In short, any time semen mixes with blood inside the body, anti-sperm antibodies are liable to form. Men may develop these antibodies for any of the following reasons:
- Vasectomy or other testicle surgery
- Tramatic testicle injury
- Prostate infection
Women’s reproductive systems can also produce anti-sperm antibodies if they have an allergic reaction to their partner’s semen. If present in the cervical mucus, these antibodies could damage or kill sperm as they enter the vagina. This condition is rare and not fully understood by the medical community.
Testing for Anti-Sperm Antibodies
An immunobead test (IBT) detects the presence of sperm-destroying antibodies in the blood, seminal fluid, or cervical mucus. Testing also indicates what part of the sperm is specifically affected. When performed on blood, an IBT can reveal whether the anti-sperm antibodies originate from the patient’s blood or reproductive system.
Because anti-sperm antibodies are relatively rare, and their presence doesn’t always cause infertility, your physician will likely review your medical history and conduct other tests before suggesting an IBT. Anti-sperm antibody testing should only be necessary if another cause of infertility can’t be found or the results of routine testing are inconclusive.
Treating Anti-Sperm Antibodies
While high levels of anti-sperm antibodies can make it difficult for some couples to get pregnant, their presence does not guarantee fertility issues. In fact, some findings suggest a low correlation between anti-sperm antibodies and the ability to conceive.
Still, if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you may choose to pursue treatment for anti-sperm antibodies. Your options include immune response-lowering medication and assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as intrauterine insemination.
Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men overcome infertility problems. All infertility procedures we offer, including vasectomy reversal, are performed by a qualified surgeon using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients can expect concierge-level care and friendly staff interactions all along the way. To discuss your fertility concerns with Dr. Green, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.
Fertility difficulties affect nearly one in seven couples who are trying to have a baby. “Infertility” is defined as the inability to conceive despite having frequent, unprotected intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of all cases, male infertility is at least partially to blame. Consider what male infertility looks like and how you can combat it.
Causes of Male Infertility
Low fertility in men is a complex subject. In short, semen must contain enough healthy, functional sperm to produce a pregnancy. There are many possible reasons why this may not be the case, including:
- Varicocele (swelling of the veins that drain the testicle)
- Infections, including epididymitis, orchitis, gonorrhea, or HIV
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Dysfunctional immune cells that attack sperm
- Cancer and nonmalignant tumors
- Undescended testicles
- Hormone imbalances
- Tubule defects or blockages
- Chromosome defects
- Erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation
- Celiac disease
- Certain medications
- Vasectomy or other surgeries on the testicles, scrotum, or prostate
- Exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metals, or radiation
- Overheated testicles
- Drug, tobacco, and alcohol use
Symptoms of Male Infertility
Apart from being unable to conceive a child, there may be no other indications that you are infertile. However, depending on the underlying cause, these additional symptoms may be present:
- Sexual dysfunction, such as difficulty maintaining an erection, limited ejaculation, or low sex drive
- Pain, swelling, or lump in the testicle area
- Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia)
- Decreased facial or body hair
Treatments for Male Infertility
If you are struggling to get your partner pregnant, consider that simple lifestyle changes can make a difference. Here’s what to try first:
- Quit smoking, limit your alcohol use, and avoid illicit drugs.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce your stress level.
- Steer clear of chemicals and other environmental hazards.
- Avoid tightly fitting underwear and jeans.
- Don’t take steroids for bodybuilding or sporting purposes.
More formal treatments for male infertility include:
- Surgery to correct obstructed tubules or reverse a prior vasectomy
- Antibiotic treatment for underlying infections
- Medication or counseling for erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation
- Hormone treatments and medications
One in eight male infertility cases are treatable, allowing couples to get pregnant naturally after receiving the proper care. If male infertility treatment doesn’t work, you may still be a candidate for assisted reproductive technology (ART). This involves collecting sperm to be inserted into the female reproductive system or used with in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Your doctor might also suggest considering a sperm donor or adopting a child.
Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men overcome infertility problems. All infertility procedures, including vasectomy reversal, are performed with state-of-the-art equipment, including a high-powered operating microscope. Patients can expect concierge-level care and friendly staff interactions every step of the way. To learn more, please call 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.
Some celebrities are deeply protective of their privacy when it comes to their personal lives. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are one couple who have been extremely open about theirs. They’ve talked openly about their struggles with infertility and IVF, and earlier this year shared their joy over a surprise pregnancy. Sadly, that pregnancy has ended in a miscarriage. Teigen has been candid about her devastation over the end of the pregnancy as well, and there’s something very beneficial about someone being so willing to share her joy and pain. It helps other women going through the rollercoaster ride of infertility know that they are not alone.
Infertility affects about one in eight people. Often, it’s difficult to even discern the problem, and certainly, Chrissy Teigen’s experience illustrates this. Young and healthy, with a healthy husband, she struggled for years before undergoing IVF. In vitro fertilization is emotionally stressful and physically taxing, involving lifestyle changes, medications, and seemingly endless procedures. It doesn’t always work and sometimes ends in miscarriage. What’s more, many women go through this experience feeling alone because infertility is a taboo topic.
Something else that’s taboo is miscarriage, though it’s an experience shared by as many as one in four women. For Chrissy Teigen, it happened at the end of last month. When celebrities are open about their joys and pain, it helps open dialogue about difficult topics. If you’ve suffered a miscarriage, there are a few things to remember.
- It’s ok to talk about it. Talking about it can be beneficial, not just for you but for others. It may surprise you to discover how many people you know have had similar experiences. The loss of a pregnancy is an isolating event but talking about it can help you heal.
- Take the time to grieve. It can be hard to cope after a miscarriage, and some feelings of grief can resurface much later, particularly on the anniversary of the loss or what would have been the baby’s birthday. Doing something meaningful to honor your baby may bring you some peace.
- Be gentle with each other. You and your partner will go through this together, even if you feel like you’re going through it alone. Men sometimes don’t want to talk about things like this, but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel them deeply. After their miscarriage, John Legend wrote of the experience, “What an awesome gift it is to be able to bring life into the world. We’ve experienced the miracle, the power and joy of this gift, and now we’ve deeply felt its inherent fragility.”
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we’re committed to helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.
The journey to parenthood is straightforward for many, but up to 15 percent of couples fail to conceive after a year of trying to get pregnant. Male infertility plays a role in over one-third of these cases. Consider the factors that affect male fertility and what you can do to improve your chances of conceiving a child with your partner.
Causes of Male Infertility
You could have trouble getting your partner pregnant if you have any of the following:
- Low sperm count
- Abnormal sperm function
- Blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm
- Low testosterone levels
What Affects Male Fertility?
The following factors play a role in your sperm count, function, delivery, and testosterone levels:
- Varicocele: Having enlarged veins within the scrotum is the most common reversible cause of male infertility.
- Infection: Some infections interfere with sperm health or production, including several STDs, such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and HIV.
- Substance use: Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can lower testosterone levels and sperm count.
- Overall health: Being overweight or having high blood pressure may reduce fertility. Other medical causes include undescended testicles, tumors, hormone imbalances, chromosome defects, and untreated celiac disease.
- Ejaculation issues: Various conditions may prevent proper ejaculation, including diabetes, spinal cord injuries, medications, and surgery of the bladder, urethra, or prostate.
- Environmental factors: Overexposure to heat, radiation, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals may reduce sperm count or function. Even prolonged biking, horseback riding, or physically demanding work can affect fertility.
- Emotional factors: High stress may interfere with hormones needed to produce sperm. Depression can also cause sexual dysfunction that can cause male fertility issues.
How to Improve Male Fertility
Being unable to conceive a child can be frustrating and stressful. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve your fertility:
- Receive treatment for underlying medical conditions.
- Talk to your doctor about switching medications if infertility is a side effect of anything you’re currently taking.
- Consider the changes you can make to reduce physical strain at work and in your daily life.
- Wear boxers, not briefs, to avoid elevated temperatures and tightness that could affect sperm count.
- Adopt stress management techniques, such as meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, and breathing exercises.
- Examine your lifestyle. If you use substances or are overweight, improving your health may increase your fertility.
- Schedule a doctor visit to check your fertility, especially if you experience sexual dysfunction, pain or swelling in the testicle area, abnormal breast growth, or hormonal irregularities along with fertility issues.
Did you previously have a vasectomy, but now you’re ready to start or grow your family? Dr. Joshua Green at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal can make your dream of fatherhood a reality. We provide state-of-the-art treatment for men looking to reverse a vasectomy or address other fertility concerns. To learn more, please call our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation through our website.
One in eight couples has trouble conceiving. Do you know how many of the cases are caused by unexplained male infertility? Nearly a quarter. For years, scientists have known that infertility can be linked to sperm that fail to throw out histones from DNA during development, but the reasons for this failure and how it happens is unclear. Now, however, that lack of clarity may be changing.
Promising new research out of Penn Medicine is showing the precise location of the retained histones and the key gene that regulates them. Researchers have also created a mouse model with a mutated version of the gene. This allows investigators to track the defects in sperm, starting with the early stages of sperm development and going through fertilization. This research could lead us to a better understanding of infertility in men, and how epigenetic mutations are passed to future generations.
What does it mean, when sperm fail to evict histones? Histones are the main proteins in chromatin. Their function is to package DNA and turn genes on and off. Healthy sperm lose about 90-95 percent of these proteins, replacing them with protamines, smaller proteins able to pack DNA into tiny sperm. When a man has unexplained infertility, the problem is often with retained histones. The sperm count can be normal, the sperm have normal motility, and yet because the histones are in the wrong location, the couple has trouble conceiving.
Until now, research has produced conflicting results about where these histones are located. Because of the confusion of discrepant data, the burden of assisted-reproductive technologies has continued to fall on women. Even if the male has the issue, the female partner goes through hormone injections and procedures to promote a higher fertility rate.
Imagine, then, if scientists were able to use epigenetic therapies to change the levels of histones and protamines in men. With this new research, scientists are better able to closely study the mechanisms behind a mutated sperm’s trajectory, which opens the door to potential therapeutic treatments. Epigenetic drugs are already being used to treat cancer and other diseases. With a clearer understanding of how a man’s epigenome affects conception and embryonic development, we have the potential to alter sperm, so these new studies may lead to a breakthrough infertility treatment.
If you’re struggling with infertility or considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
Are you concerned that you may be infertile? Doctors define infertility as a failure to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse. However, if you’ve been unsuccessfully trying to conceive, it’s smart to be evaluated as soon as possible. There are certain factors that can cause infertility, but which can be treated earlier than 12 months after you start trying. How do you know if you should be tested earlier?
If you’re over 35, you don’t need to wait a year before being tested. Age is a major factor in fertility, so you should seek medical attention if it’s been 6 months since you started trying to conceive. In fact, if age is the problem, your chances of successful medical intervention go down the longer you wait. After age 35, fertility declines in women rapidly. By the time they’re over 40, about half of women are infertile, solely based on age, due to a low number and low quality of eggs.
Women with low egg numbers can be identified through ovarian reserve testing. Antimullerian hormone (AMH) testing and ultrasound of the ovaries to count follicles are two methods of determining the quantity of eggs. When a woman doesn’t have enough eggs, her chances of conceiving go down. Additionally, when the quality of eggs diminishes, the risk of miscarriage increases.
Another reason you might need medical tests before a year has passed is an issue with ovulation. If your cycle is irregular, you may be ovulating infrequently or not at all. This can make conception more difficult, but medical intervention can help, so seek help as soon as possible. Certain aspects of your medical history may be impacting your fertility, too, like a history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Previous abdominal surgery in women and previous testicular surgery in men can also cause issues. In all of these cases, seek medical help early for best results.
Before you see a doctor, you might want to take a look at your lifestyle and make sure you’re in the best possible health. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension, these must be well-controlled before conception. Quit smoking if you smoke, drink only in moderation, and pack your diet with nutrient-dense foods.
If you need help with your fertility or you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
If you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you probably already know that it can put a strain on your relationship. Battling infertility is expensive, stressful, and exhausting, and creates challenges for couples that few other experiences can. The key to making it through infertility with a strong relationship is to acknowledge the feelings you’re wrestling with and work through them together. While every couple’s experience is different, there are a few commonalities you might want to consider when navigating your own relationship issues.
· It’s common to feel shame about infertility. Fertility is a private issue, and couples often feel shame or embarrassment, a sense of inadequacy, or that they’re the only ones going through it. In fact, millions of couples struggle with infertility. It may be helpful to reach out to others in your situation, to reduce your feelings of isolation and help you cope with your negative feelings about infertility.
· Fertility treatments don’t always work. In vitro fertilization (IVF) has greatly improved over the years, but there are still no guarantees that you’ll successfully conceive. Many couples have to undergo multiple rounds of IVF, and miscarriages or other issues sometimes occur. It’s hard not to feel discouraged, and important to support each other during the process.
· Partners don’t always experience the same emotions while dealing with infertility. Sometimes one partner has more trouble than the other when dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. This can put a strain on the relationship and cause arguments. It’s important to acknowledge what’s going on and be gentle with each other.
· Fertility treatments are extremely expensive. Financial concerns are already a hot button issue for many couples, so when fertility is thrown into the mix, the strain can become overwhelming. It’s important to talk about this and make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to your finances.
· Infertility may disrupt your sex life. Fertility treatments can make sex feel like a chore and put a strain on your relationship, especially when you’re also dealing with depression or negative feelings. Be patient with each other, and find ways to bring romance into your relationship.
· The most important thing is to make it through this time in your lives together. If you can weather this storm together, you’re likely to come through it with a stronger relationship. If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
Infertility is often a taboo subject. However, when celebrities speak up about their struggles, it helps the general public understand how “normal” it is to have difficulty getting pregnant. It’s also cathartic to discuss the emotional turmoil of infertility with others who have experienced it.
Samantha Busch—wife of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch—discusses her life on social media and as a cast member of CMT’s Racing Wives. From providing play-by-plays of Kyle’s races to discussing the couple’s infertility to documenting their heartbreaking miscarriage, no topic is off-limits.
Samantha’s journey into motherhood started in 2012 at age 26 when she and Kyle decided to start a family. She chronicled her journey on social media, stating:
“Trying to have a baby was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in life…You could handle one, two, three, four negative pregnancy tests. But by that ninth, 10th, 11th [one], that’s when it’s hard. It’s hard to pick up the pieces again.”
She even opened up about the mental health struggles of treating infertility, saying:
“We started the fertility drugs. They don’t tell you too much about the side effects of them. You turn insane. Nobody’s telling you what’s happening to yourself as a woman and what’s happening to your marriage. Nobody’s telling you that you’re going to sit on the floor and cry for hours and your husband’s going to be there to support you, but at the same time, you’re like, ‘What if I can’t give him kids?’”
Samantha and Kyle’s son, Brexton, joined the Busch family in 2015 via in vitro fertilization (IVF). In an effort to comfort other couples facing similar challenges, Samantha shared her experience with IVF more in-depth when the couple pursued it again last year to have a second child.
The procedure resulted in pregnancy, but Samantha disclosed the devastating news that she had had a miscarriage in November 2018:
“Earlier this week I suffered a miscarriage. We lost our baby girl. My heart hurts more than words can describe.”
While her original intent had been to help others “[not] feel so alone,” it was Samantha who received an outpouring of support from “so many women who had been through the exact same thing and understood the emotion that I was feeling and the pain and the confusion.”
Though speaking up about infertility can be difficult, Samantha says being open about it has been therapeutic. More women share her experience than most people realize. Up to 15 percent of people who know they’re pregnant have a miscarriage. That’s why, through the Kyle Busch Foundation, the couple launched the Bundle of Joy Fund to help couples cover the cost of IVF, which can run thousands of dollars. Samantha continues to share her journey and provide online support to those who need it.
Vasectomy can be a major roadblock to a couple’s fertility, but with vasectomy reversal, you can get back on the path to parenthood. To schedule a free consultation, please call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal at 941.894.6428.
Even the best marriage can run into trouble when facing the challenges of infertility. Feelings of resentment and disappointment can creep in, and communication can become a struggle. Infertility doesn’t necessarily mean you can never have children, but it does mean that you and your partner will have to try harder than some other people, which can be a challenge. The best way to face it, as with any obstacle in your married life, is together. Be aware of common issues, and be proactive in keeping your marriage strong.
- Don’t let fertility become an obsession. The tedium of charting, doctor’s appointments, giving samples, having injections, and more can make it feel like infertility is your whole life, and waiting for the results can be excruciating. Don’t let it all overwhelm you, but find ways to connect with your partner that doesn’t involve family planning. Have a weekly date night, making a rule that you can’t talk about babies.
- Recognize that life is all about making a new plan. You have to live the life you have, even if it’s not the one you expected. Learning all about infertility, seeking new ways to communicate with your partner, and making a plan to move forward can help alleviate some of your stress.
- Keep your sex life fun. When your sex life is all about fertility apps, calendars, and basal thermometers, it becomes less than sexy. Prioritize date night, making a point to connect in ways that have nothing to do with conception.
- Try not to take your frustrations out on each other. When you’re living with the pain of not being able to conceive, it’s easy to become angry, depressed, or resentful. It’s important to learn how to communicate honestly and calmly, learning to compromise without resorting to anger. Remember that you are in it together, avoid placing blame, and take comfort in the love and compassion you have for each other.
- Don’t allow infertility to isolate you. Infertility can be emotionally isolating, so reach out to others sharing your experience by finding a good support group, either online or locally.
- Be realistic and cooperative when it comes to money. Fertility treatments are expensive, so it’s important to keep emotions out of your budget and come up with a realistic plan together.
If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
When you’re trying to conceive, it’s extremely important to take care of your health. A woman who is trying to get pregnant will work to stay at a healthy weight, watch her diet, stop drinking and smoking, and take prenatal vitamins, to make sure she gives her potential baby the very best start possible. But what about the potential father? Men can also take steps to improve their fertility, including taking prenatal vitamins.
Many of the things men can do to up their chances of fathering a child are the same things that women do when they’re trying to conceive. Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and eating a healthful diet are all good steps to take, as are getting enough sleep and reducing stress. Additionally, men who want to procreate should not wear constrictive underwear or take long soaks in the bath or hot tub.
Why take all of these measures? A man’s age, diet, and lifestyle can have an effect on his sperm health, which has an impact on fertility but also on the child’s development and long-term health. A newborn’s predisposition for chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease can result from poor behavior or health of the mother or father before they even conceive. Three to six months prior to conception is a great time to improve your lifestyle, and that includes taking a prenatal vitamin.
The best prenatal vitamin for a man to take is not the same as a woman’s prenatal vitamin because some of the nutrients in prenatal vitamins can cause problems for men. It’s advised that men take a multivitamin formulated for adults or specifically for men, rather than taking a prenatal vitamin formulated for a woman. Men need nutrients like calcium and iron, which are in prenatal vitamins, but not at the doses those vitamins contain. In fact, too much calcium has been linked to cardiovascular disease in men, and too much iron can lead to a host of issues, including gastrointestinal problems, liver problems, and dangerously low blood pressure. What’s more, prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, which is important for women to take to prevent birth defects, but which has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Before taking any kind of supplement, it’s smart to talk to your doctor and get a recommendation for the right formulation for you.
One major roadblock to a man’s fertility is a vasectomy, but even that can be overcome with new microsurgery techniques for reconnecting the vas deferens. If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our caring and skilled team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and we also offer a payment plan option for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just have questions and want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
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