How Klinefelter's Syndrome affects men’s fertility?

It is found that 40 % of infertile couples, it is the man who has a problem. Klinefelter's Syndrome is a genetic condition affecting only men. It causes a testosterone deficiency as well as infertility. Symptoms of Klinefelter's Syndrome can include a low sex drive, depression, poor concentration & learning difficulties. Many men are affected from it but half of those affected will not realize it.

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Normally, boys inherit 23 pairs of chromosomes carrying all the genetic information from their parents. One pair has an X sex chromosome from their mother & a Y chromosome from their father. The girls inherit two X chromosomes, one from each parent. Klinefelter's occurs when boys inherit an extra X chromosome in rare cases. As a result, the boy ends up with smaller testicles & this affects the amount of testosterone they produce.

By puberty, boys have very small testes & as a result, very low levels of testosterone that is the reason their fertility is affected. The first noticeable signs of Klinefelter's are nonphysical symptoms, such as a lack of concentration, speech & language problems & shyness. Boys may also be clumsy & dislike physical games. The condition becomes more noticeable as boys go through puberty. Their arms & legs grow quickly & keep on growing so they tend to have extra-long limbs.

It is also seen that boys with this problem often don't develop male secondary features such as facial hair & remain boyish. Those with the most severe form are not terribly interested in sex & if they do have sex, often can't perform very well. Other symptoms include the development of breasts up to a third of affected men develop breasts large enough to embarrass them & a pear-shaped body.

But for all men with Klinefelter's, infertility is inevitable. A low sperm count is a tell-tale sign of the condition. The blood tests are then used to detect if an extra chromosome is present. For couple's best chance is a type of IVF treatment called intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single sperm is injected directly into one of the eggs to fertilize it. Men with Klinefelter's will almost inevitably need in vitro fertilization in order to father a child.

In the past, the only option for these men was sperm donation. However, techniques are constantly improving. Now scientists are able to help men with low sperm counts by doing surgical sperm recovery & ICSI. Meanwhile, for men with physical symptoms of the condition, daily doses of testosterone in spray, gel or injection form will be necessary for the rest of their lives.

They are also at greater risk of osteoporosis. Low testosterone levels affect their oestrogen levels, which is needed by men as well as women for healthy bones. So they should have bone scans at least every two years.


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