Male infertility is one of the main reasons behind the inability of many couples to have children when they want to. For every couple to conceive and give birth, it is imperative that both the male and female be in good reproductive health. Even if the woman is very fertile, complications in the reproductive systems of the male partner can result in childlessness.
According to studies, more than 10 percent of couples are facing problems giving birth naturally even if they engage in consistent sexual activity without any form of birth control. About 1 in 2 couples are unable to conceive due to the infertility of the man.
A man may be termed as infertile when he doesn’t produce the optimum amount of sperm per milliliter of semen, a condition referred to as Low Sperm Count. In some instances, the sperm may be unable to swim towards eggs once released or may be impeded by blockages in the sperm ducts. While facing fertility problems can be distressing, the good news is that there is an abundance of fertility treatments available for everyone no matter your personal circumstances.
Symptoms of Male Infertility
Apart from being unable to impregnate a woman, there are no other clear-cut signs that show a man may be infertile. Since it takes two healthy people to conceive naturally, male infertility may be hidden for many years, especially among men who refuse to undergo fertility tests as a result of their egos. In any case, some of the most common male infertility signs include:
- Sexual functioning disorders including erectile problems or even the inability to ejaculate during sex.
- Pain and discomfort around the testicular region
- Hormonal deficiencies which result in little or no facial and or body hair
- Low sperm count
Seeking Treatment For Male Infertility
While many men try to avoid seeking treatment for infertility due to their big egos, keep in mind that getting any abnormality detected and promptly cured is the only way you can achieve your dream of becoming a father naturally. Do not hesitate to see a doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Childlessness after having consistent unprotected sex with your partner or multiple partners for at least a year.
- Inability to achieve or maintain erections as well as other sexual dysfunction symptoms
- Swollen or lumpy testicles
- Have history or penile or testicular surgery
Causes of Infertility in Men
Impregnating your partner successfully by natural means is a severely delicate process that requires the following conditions to be perfect:
- Development of healthy sperm
- Your sperm count should be high or at least normal (15 million or more per milliliter of semen)
- Sperm should be normally shaped with the ability to swim towards eggs once ejaculated into the vagina
If any of the above conditions are not met, male infertility may be inevitable. Additionally, here are other possible causes of infertility in men:
- Diseases: Some disease cells may attack vital reproductive organs and cause them to malfunction in terms of sperm production. Other infections may also cause blockages that prevent sperm from being released with semen. Mumps, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and other STIs commonly result in fertility problems in men.
- Inflammation of testicular veins which affects the natural cooling mechanism of the testicles leading to the production of stale sperm.
- Retrograde Ejaculation which results in the release of sperm into the bladder instead of via semen through the penis.
- Sperm killing antibodies.
- Cancer cells and other progressive tumors which derail the normal functioning of the male reproductive system.
- Under-developed testicles during fetal development resulting in the testicles being positioned abnormally.
- Hormonal disorders that can affect vital reproductive organs such as the thyroid and pituitary glands. This lowers testosterone production levels.
- Infections that affect the sperm ducts causing blockages that prevent sperm from being released along with semen during sex.
- Erectile dysfunction problems which result in the inability to achieve or maintain erections.
- Premature ejaculation which prevents optimal amounts of sperms from being sent to the penis before the man ejaculates.
- Celiac infections usually as a result of allergy to gluten.
- Certain drugs for treatment of conditions ranging from cancer to ulcer as well as antifungal medicines have been linked to male infertility.
Lots of environmental conditions have been linked the impairment of sperm production causing male infertility. Here are the most common ones:
- Exposure to radioactive materials including those used for radiation treatment for cancers and other diseases
- Exposure to pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals can minimize the ability of a man to produce healthy quantities of sperm.
- Exposure to high temperature environments such as hot tubs can lead to low sperm count or the production of stale sperm. Wearing briefs and other tight clothing can impair the cooling system of the testicles.
Various unhealthy lifestyle choices can affect the fertility of a man:
- Use of steroids
- Use of narcotics
- High levels of stress
- Bicycling or horseback riding for many hours on a regular basis.