Prostate Health’s Impact on Fertility
The prostate is a small, muscular gland about the size of a walnut or ping pong ball. Located deep within the male pelvis, it surrounds the urethra right underneath the bladder and sits in front of the rectum.
Dr. Paul Turek of The Turek Clinic takes your prostate health very seriously. The prostate is critical to normal reproduction, as it produces a fluid that makes up approximately 20 percent of the semen. The milky fluid contains various substances that are important for sperm function. Enzymes, zinc, citric acid and other substances allow the semen to properly liquefy and support sperm as they try to reach the egg, ultimately promoting fertilization and pregnancy. Muscles of the prostate gland help to propel the fluid into the semen during ejaculation.
As a leading authority on male reproductive health, Dr. Turek understands the implications of prostate problems on male fertility. But if your prostate health is compromised, you may still be able to father a biological child, with the help of Dr. Turek. A medical evaluation and consultation with the doctor can provide the answers and guidance you need.
Prostate Problems That Can Affect Fertility
Prostatitis, or an infection or inflammation of the prostate, is a common urological problem that can cause burning or painful urination, the inability to empty the bladder well and difficult or painful ejaculation.
The implications of prostatitis on semen quality are controversial. It is thought that the white blood cells that coexist with prostate infections or inflammation are harmful to sperm, and some studies show that bacterial prostatitis negatively affects sperm morphology and sperm motility; other studies show no differences in sperm motility or morphology between patients with prostatitis and healthy patients.
Treatment for prostatitis is based on the root cause. Prostatitis caused by a bacterial infection is treated with antibiotics. Treating the infection may have favorable outcomes on fertility, likely by removing harmful inflammatory cells from hurting sperm.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men (besides non-melanoma skin cancer). Given the importance of the prostate to normal fertility, prostate cancer treatments in general will impair or eliminate normal fertility is most cases. One of the most common treatments is the removal of the prostate gland, which eliminates the ejaculate entirely. Radiation therapy can cause scarring and blockage of the reproductive tract, result in impaired sperm production and also reduce the prostate’s ability to produce semen.
Preserving Fertility in the Face of Prostate Cancer
Sperm banking is a method of gathering and storing sperm with the intention of later using it for assisted reproductive technology. Prior to cancer treatment, semen is collected and frozen until needed. Sperm are remarkably hardy when frozen and can last several decades “on ice” without a problem. Upon thawing, roughly half of sperm will survive and can be used for assisted reproductive technology.
Testicular Sperm Extraction
Testicular sperm extraction is effective for men who cannot ejaculate sperm but still make sperm in the testicles. Testicular tissue is taken by needle aspiration (TESA) or biopsy (TESE) and the sperm directly extracted from the tissue and used for assisted reproductive technology.
Schedule a Consultation at The Turek Clinic Today
If you are experiencing symptoms suggesting a prostate problem, or you and your partner are having problems conceiving, you need the support of an internationally respected expert. Schedule a consultation at The Turek Clinic today to discuss your options with Dr. Paul Turek.