Male Infertility

Overview

Male infertility is the inability of the man to make his female partner pregnant after having unprotected intercourse for more than a year or so. There are various male infertility causes and most of them are due to low sperm count, problems in sperm function, and blockages on sperm paths.

Fertility problems in males are serious health issues. But there are safe and effective male infertility solutions to help them. Couples should seek male infertility help to increase their chances of having a successful pregnancy.

Erectile Dysfunction

Symptoms

Signs of male infertility do not manifest noticeable symptoms. But a man can feel changes that he might not relate to infertility. Here are some signs of infertility in men to note:

  • Pain, swelling or presence of lumps in the testicular area
  • Obvious decrease in facial and body hair
  • Gynecomastia- the growth of breasts in males
  • Changes in sexual desire, premature ejaculation, inability to get and maintain the erection
  • Intermittent respiratory infections
  • Decreased sperm count- less than 15 million sperm per mL or less than 39 million every ejaculation

When To seek medical advice

Male infertility help to the doctor should be done as soon as the couple is having unprotected intercourse for more than a year and yet unable to get a successful pregnancy. It is best to seek male infertility help if any signs of male infertility have been experienced, previous history of sexual problems, and prior surgery involving the groin, testicles, scrotum or penis.

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Medical Causes

There are several male infertility causes, which include:

  • Hormonal problems: The male brain produces gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH), in which controls the production luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). LH and FSH stimulate the testes to produce testosterone, a hormone responsible for sperm production. Low levels of testosterone will result to low sperm levels, decreased facial and body hair, increased body fat, gynecomastia (breast growth in men), changes in sexual desire, problems in achieving and maintaining an erection.
  • Chromosomal problems: men affected with Klinefelter’s syndrome, wherein a male has XXY chromosomes instead of one X and one Y. This chromosomal abnormality is one of the male infertility causes characterized by small penis and small testicles.
  • Blockages in the sperms paths: this usually happens when infections such as sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, or any previous history of surgery in the pelvic area that affected the functionality or caused damage on the epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, urethra, testicles, scrotum, and penis.
  • Varicocele: enlarged varicose veins occur in the scrotum. It may cause shrinkage of the testicles, damage sperm, and affect low sperm count. However, the connection between varicocele is unclear. It can be corrected with surgery- varicocelectomy.
  • Immune system attacking the sperm: Normally, antibodies are formed to attack foreign bodies, but in this case, the antibody is wrongly attacking the sperm and causing low sperm count.
  • Retrograde ejaculation: Retrograde ejaculation, in which the semen is brought back into the bladder because the nerves and muscles in the bladder do not close when a man reaches orgasm. This is caused by certain surgery (prostate, testicles, colon, rectum, bladder, and lower spine), medications (some antidepressants, anti-psychotic drugs, medicines for enlarged prostate), damage to the nervous system (multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries), and diabetes mellitus.

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Risk Factors And Complications

Risk factors that contribute to male infertility causes include:

  • Intermittent exposure to industrial chemicals is one of the male fertility causes that can affect sperm production and function. Chemicals such as benzene, toluene, xylene, pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, and lead.
  • Frequent exposure to radiation causes male infertility. High doses of radiation can cause long-lasting problems in sperm production.
  • Exposure to elevated temperatures such as hot tubs and saunas can cause short-term problems in sperm production and function.
  • The use of prohibited drugs such as cocaine and marijuana can impair sperm production and function.
  • Chronic alcoholism can cause erectile problems, decreases testosterone levels, affect sperm production.
  • Severe stress affects hormones then affecting sperm production.
  • Smokers have low sperm counts; the result is the same with second-hand smoke.
  • Depression is one of the male infertility causes that affect libido, causes erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation problems.
  • Obesity can cause fertility problems in males because it affects hormone levels thus affecting testosterone levels and sperm production.

Prevention

What helps male fertility? Prevention is always better than male infertility treatment. However, inherited conditions that cause male infertility cannot be prevented. There are various male fertility solutions that they choose from.

Here are some preventive measures to avoid male infertility:

  • Avoid or do not smoke.
  • Drink in moderation.
  • Do not use prohibited drugs.
  • Keep a healthy body weight.
  • Keep away from environmental factors that contribute to male fertility causes.
  • Relax and solve problems that cause stress.
  • Work out a good relationship with your partner.

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