Male infertility is a reproductive issue that prevents men from delivering healthy sperm adequate enough to achieve a pregnancy. Infertility is clinically defined as a condition in a male (or female) who cannot achieve pregnancy after one year of intercourse, without any kind of birth control or contraceptive use.
A Common Problem With Multiple Causes
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, about 10 to 15 percent of men are infertile. This means that these individuals have not produced a pregnancy after at least one year of intercourse without the use of birth control.
While this shows that a large population of males are affected by infertility, there isn’t just one reason behind the infertility problem. In fact, male infertility has multiple causes, and in many cases, medical treatment can help battle it.
Reasons for Male Infertility
Many medical, environmental, and lifestyle factors can cause male infertility, and many risk factors can increase the chances of infertility.
Some of the most common medical causes for male infertility include:
This condition causes swelling of the veins that are responsible for draining the testicles. It is a very common medical cause of male infertility.
Some infections affect sperm production and health. Examples include epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis) and orchitis (inflammation of the testicles). These types of infections can cause temporary or permanent infertility, depending on the severity of damage they cause to organs.
Ejaculation issues can cause male infertility. An example is retrograde ejaculation that causes semen to enter the bladder instead of exiting during intercourse.
Hormone imbalances like hypogonadism (low testosterone) can cause infertility in males.
Some of the most common environmental causes of male infertility include:
Chemicals can lead to low sperm count – a leading cause of male infertility. Some examples include benzenes, organic solvents, painting materials, pesticides, and xylene.
Radiation exposure can cause a variety of health problems including decreased sperm production. In many cases, radiation exposure only results in temporary infertility but in some severe cases, there can be permanent reduction in sperm production.
Many lifestyle choices can affect fertility. While it’s difficult to say whether lifestyle choices are solely responsible for infertility in males, many of these factors can exacerbate existing problems and make the situation worse. Some examples include:
Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol can reduce the production of sperm, lower testosterone levels, and affect the health of sperm. The use of drugs and excessive drinking can make infertility problems worse.
Stress affects hormones in the body, many of which are essential for healthy sperm production. In cases where there is severe or prolonged stress, males may experience infertility problems as a result of excessive stress/
Weight gain impacts fertility in a variety of ways. Some examples include causing hormone imbalances, reducing sperm production, and affecting the health of sperm.
Fertility Expertise in Phoenix
If you’re trying to start a family and feel you may be experiencing male infertility, it’s time to see a doctor who can check for any problems. Many causes of infertility can be treated so you can become fertile in the future.
Dr. Desiderio Avila Jr. of Ironwood Urology is an expert urologist with a wealth of experience treating issues like male infertility. Call (480) 961-2323 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.