Sometimes your partner's problem is structural in nature. This means that there is a physical blockage to the sperm either being produced or leaving his body. The causes of structural defects range from injury to the testicle to congenital problems. Some of these structural problems are easily fixed, while others require surgery.
Undescended Testicles (Cryptorchidism)
Typically, during the growth and development of a male fetus, his testicles develop and descend just prior to birth or just afterwards. However, sometimes one or both testicles do not ever descend.
Undescended testicles are usually not a significant problem unless you are trying to conceive. Remember that the testicles need to stay cooler than the rest of the body, so sperm production may be altered due to the testicles inability to regulate temperature.
Currently the only way to treat undescended testicles is to surgically descend them. These surgeries are usually not very effective when done as adults. Very rarely, only in about 5 percent of the cases, surgery may reveal that there is no testicle.
Some men suffer from a problem known as a varicocele, which is a collection of varicose veins located behind and above the testes. When a varicocele is present it restricts blood flow to and from the testes, causing a problem with swelling and with the temperature in the testicle. This heat can damage or kill the sperm. It can also cause damage to the valves that regulate blood flow around the testes.
You may find a varicocele is in one or both testicles, though it is much more common to find the varicocele in the left testicle. A varicocele is not always an indication that the man is infertile. About 15 percent of men will have a varicocele, and it is the cause of male infertility in about 40 percent of the cases of male factor infertility. Varicoceles may form after injury to the scrotum or testicle, or they can be just a random occurrence.
Varicoceles are more common on the left testicle than the right, occurring in the left in about 85 percent of men who have varicoceles. It is hypothesized that this occurs more often on the left because the left spermatic vein is longer. However, it is possible to have varicoceles on both sides. This occurs in about 20 percent of men with this problem.
Surgery may be one option if your partner suffers from varicoceles. This is usually done on an outpatient basis and offers one of the best chances to aid in conception if your partner has a varicocele. About 60 percent of men will be able to conceive with no additional treatment beyond surgery.
There is a complex system of tubing and various locations for potential blocks in your partner's reproductive tract. Obstructions that are often caused by hernia repairs or hydrocele repairs occur in the epididymis or sometimes in other locations. Scarring can also cause blockages of the reproductive tract. Scarring can be either from previous surgery or from previous or current infections.
How these obstructions and blockages are treated depends on their location, cause, and length of the problem. Sometimes surgery can be performed to reverse the damage
Retrograde ejaculation can be a problem for men as well. In this situation, the neck of the bladder does not close properly. When the man ejaculates, some or all of his semen is washed back into the bladder; therefore it does not leave the penis through the urethra.
Cloudy urine after ejaculation can be one of the signs that your man suffers from retrograde ejaculation. You may also notice this if the quantity of semen has drastically changed over the years or after surgery to the bladder. It may also be caused by a structural defect the man has had since birth. Sometimes problems like diabetes can also be to blame for retrograde ejaculation.
Congenitally Absent Vas Deferens (CAVD)
During the fetal development of males, there is the possibility that the baby forms without developing a vas deferens. It is imperative that this tubing be present to allow the sperm to travel through to the urethra. If it is missing the man will have problems with sperm delivery. There is currently no known way to repair missing vas deferens.