Up to 15% of couples are unable to conceive after one year of actively trying. As a society, our minds typically turn to the woman struggling with infertility issues. It makes sense that we default to that thinking as the woman is the one to carry the child. But it isn’t always accurate. Male infertility is just as common as female infertility.
And it’s time we start talking about it!
Male Infertility Causes
There are a number of reasons behind male infertility. Unfortunately, up to 50% of cases have an unidentifiable cause. Don’t lose hope! Most male infertility issues stem from within one of these three major causes:
1. Medical Factors
Within this possible cause sits severals factors that could be contributing to infertility issues for males. These include low sperm count, poor semen quality, swollen testicular veins (Varicoceles), pelvic injuries or infections, hormonal imbalances (yes, men have those, too!), chromosomal defects, or the use of certain medications.
2. Environmental Factors
Your environment impacts the whole of your body, even the parts that seem safely hidden away. Exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metals, radiation, or X-rays can all hinder fertility. Overheating can also impair sperm production and function. Frequent use of hot tubs is a major culprit.
3. Lifestyle Factors
Overall health plays a huge role in fertility. Drug or alcohol use, smoking, obesity, and stress can each reduce sperm count or lower testosterone levels. Male infertility could be the unfortunate result.
Male Infertility Symptoms
The most obvious symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive with your partner. But there are other symptoms to note. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to speak with one of our specialists at Urology Associates of South Bend. We can help you pinpoint the underlying issues and discuss treatment options with the goal of increasing your infertility.
- Development of a lump, with or without pain or swelling in the testicles
- Problems associated with ejaculation (low volumes of ejaculation fluid)
- Reduced sexual motivation
- Issues with acquiring or maintaining an erection
- Presence of hormonal or chromosomal abnormalities (such as abnormal breast and/or body hair growth)
- Low standard sperm count (less than 39 million per ejaculate)
What To Do About Male Infertility
Clearly, male infertility is caused by a wide variety of factors. Because of this, there isn’t a straightforward solution, as much as we’d like there to be one. But there are several things that you can do to lower your risk of developing infertility issues. All of these things are completely doable and ideal for your overall health as well:
- Don’t smoke
- Limit or abstain from alcohol
- Steer clear of illicit drugs
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit exposure to prolonged heat
- Reduce stress
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins
- Consult your urologist
We hope you take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Male infertility isn’t a common conversation, but it isn’t a rare situation either. Thankfully, there is hope! Urology Associates of South Bend are here to offer answers and share realistic outcomes. Contact us today for a consultation.