Infertility is defined by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine as when a couple is unsuccessful at conceiving a baby (becoming pregnant) within a one-year period of having regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control. It may come as a surprise, but infertility actually affects about 15 percent of couples trying to conceive.
Becoming pregnant takes both partners, and it is important for women to keep in mind that it’s not always their uterus that’s the issue. The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) state that for about one in five infertile couples, the problem lies solely in the male partner.
More than 90 percent of male infertility cases are due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. The remaining cases of male infertility can also be caused by a range of other factors, including:
- Genetic defects
- Poor and unhealthy diet
- Varicocele (An enlargement of the veins within the scrotum)
- Sperm Blockages
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Premature Ejaculation
- Testicular cancer and other conditions
- Infection or injury
- Undescended testicle
Hormonal imbalances can also be a significant factor in male infertility. Hormones are intended to regulate various functions in the body, related to physiology and behavior. They are chemicals that tell cells and body parts to do many important things. Hormones travel to other cells and help control or coordinate many body processes, such as regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes. Therefore, when hormones are either imbalanced or not working right, your body simply cannot function properly.
In males, testosterone plays a huge role in many life functions. Testosterone is a sex hormone and chemical messenger produced primarily in the testicles, and released into the body. Testosterone is primarily responsible for the development of male features and helps with sex drive (libido).
Male infertility can be the direct result of hormone imbalances, but it is not a huge percentage. Other factors make much more of an impact, such as sperm quality and quantity. Addressing the root cause of the hormonal imbalance can go a long way toward identifying the cause of your infertility.
If you notice that you may be struggling with issues of erectile dysfunction, poor libido, fatigue, muscle weakness, or mood changes, be sure to speak with your doctor, as these can all point to signs of a hormonal imbalance.
To learn more about how hormonal changes can be the cause of your infertility, and how to treat it, call Ironwood Urology at (480) 961-2323 to learn more or request an appointment online.