Almost 40% of male infertility cases are due to blockages in the sperm’s passageway. In fact, obstructive infertility is the second most common type of male infertility. Non-obstructive infertility such as inadequate sperm production is the most common, accounting for almost 60% of male infertility cases. Coital infertility makes up only around 2%.
When you have a genital obstruction, it means that no matter how many sperm cells you produce, they can’t get out of your penis when you ejaculate. Hence, you’ll either need to surgically retrieve your sperm, or you’ll need to undergo a procedure to have the blockage corrected the three types of infertility-causing genital obstructions.
Blockage in your Epididymis
At the back of each of your testicles, you’ll find a coiled tube called the epididymis. This tube isn’t there just for show. Your epididymis actually plays the important roles of transporting and storing the sperm cells that your testes produced.
Your epididymis carries your sperm from your testes going to your vas deferens. As your sperm cells travel through your epididymis, they mature so that by the time they reach your vas deferens, they’re ready to be ejaculated and fertilize your partner’s egg cell.
Your epididymis is divided into three sections. The head of your epididymis, where your sperm cells are stored until they’re ready to go through the maturation process, is located close to your testis.
The body of your epididymis is where the actual sperm maturation happens, which takes about a week. Lastly, the epididymis tail is the one that’s actually connected to your vas deferens. If there’s something blocking any part of your epididymis, it simply means that your sperm won’t be able to get to your vas deferens.
So when you ejaculate, chances are high that there will only be a few sperm present in your semen or there will be none at all. In fact, men with epididymis blockages often suffer from complete azoospermia or the absence of live sperm in the semen.
Blockage in your Vas Deferens
The main function of your vas deferens, or ductus deferens as they are sometimes called, is to transport your sperm from your epididymis to your ejaculatory duct. You have two vas deferens, connecting to each epididymis.
Each vas deferens is about 30 centimeters long and the length of the tube is lined with smooth muscles. These smooth muscles perform an important function when you ejaculate. The smooth muscles in your vas deferens contract and relax reflexively when you ejaculate.
This contraction and relaxation create a wavelike movement that propels your sperm toward your ejaculatory duct, enabling your sperm to reach your urethra. While your sperm cells are traveling through your vas deferens, they are joined by fluid secretions that make up your semen.
Thus, when there’s a blockage in your vas deferens, your sperm cells will find it difficult to reach your urethra. When your vas deferens are completely blocked, it will lead to complete azoospermia. This is basically the principle behind a vasectomy.
During a vasectomy, the vas deferens is sealed off so that no sperm will be able to get out of your penis when you ejaculate. Vasectomies are considered permanent, and they’re quite difficult to reverse. If you change your mind after having a vasectomy, you may need to undergo sperm retrieval procedures in order to obtain sperm samples for IVF.
Blockage in your Ejaculatory Duct
Your ejaculatory ducts are formed by the merger of your vas deferens and your seminal vesicle. Your semen flows through your ejaculatory ducts, transporting your sperm cells through your urethra when you ejaculate.
Blockages in the ejaculatory ducts can either be congenital or acquired. When both of your ejaculatory ducts are affected by an obstruction, you will most likely experience azoospermia. Your semen will contain only the fluids secreted by your accessory sex glands like your prostate and seminal vesicles, but there won’t be any sperm in your semen.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia can cause you to acquire ejaculatory duct obstruction. Since your ejaculatory ducts pass through your prostate, the enlargement of your prostate can exert pressure on your ejaculatory ducts, causing them to constrict. This can be surgically corrected, however, the surgery itself may also cause damage to one or both ducts.
There are several surgical procedures that may be used to correct a genital obstruction. The procedure employed will depend on the location of the blockage. If the obstruction is located in the vas deferens, a vasovasostomy may be performed.
This microsurgery is also performed to reverse vasectomies. During a vasovasostomy, the obstruction is surgically removed, then the cut off part of the vas deferens is attached to the other part so that your vas deferens becomes whole again.
A vasoepididymostomy, on the one hand, connects your vas deferens to your epididymis. This procedure is more challenging than a vasovasostomy. A vasoepididymostomy is performed to reverse a vasectomy, to treat congenital epididymis obstructions, as well as to treat unexplained obstruction of the epididymis.
To remove a blockage located in the ejaculatory duct, a transurethral resection of the ejaculatory duct (TURED) may be performed. TURED may be performed to remove cysts, stones, or calcification along the ejaculatory duct.
Enhancing Male Fertility
For men who are dealing with fertility issues, finding the cause of the problem is a crucial step. However, there are many cases wherein the cause of infertility is unknown. These cases are referred to as idiopathic or unexplained infertility.
You can enhance your fertility by taking a natural male sex enhancement supplement that gives you the added benefit of improving your sperm count and quality. This contains herbal ingredients that have been proven to exhibit pro-fertility properties.
For instance, you will find Tongkat Ali, maca, and Tribulus terrestris in the unique formula of these supplements. These natural ingredients can help increase your sperm production so you can raise your sperm count. In addition, they’re also known to help improve sperm motility and semen volume, as well as increase your seminal antioxidant capacity.
Aside from having pro-fertility effects, it can also help increase your libido and sexual vigor. By boosting your erectile function and sexual stamina, it can help you gain more pleasure from sex.