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Houston Fertility Journal

A Closer Look At Male Infertility

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 7, 2017 1:00:00 PM / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

Center of Reproductive Medicine

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It’s incredibly common for people to assume that their difficulty getting pregnant is because of the woman’s fertility. This is due to the awareness of a woman’s biological clock running out, something that men don’t have to worry about. However, there are many issues that contribute to fertility complications in both men and women.

Male infertility is more often the issue than people would expect. About 25% of couples having difficulty conceiving has something to do with the woman, and 25% is due to the male. The other 50% are compiled of couples where both people have existing fertility issues.

These statistics show that the terms are pretty equal and there is no reason we should assume the issue resides mostly in one gender. When getting tested for any possible contributors to your infertility, both people in the couple should be tested equally and thoroughly. Keep reading ahead to take a closer look a male infertility, contributing factors, and the treatment options available out there for those in need.

Signs & Symptoms

The common signs and symptoms of male infertility include:

  • sexual dysfunction
  • testicle pain and swelling
  • the loss of body and facial hair
  • low sperm count
  • recurrent respiratory infections
  • dulled sense of smell

However, keep in mind that signs are not always evident and there may be none that are obvious, that does not mean that the issue doesn’t exist. This is not something to be ashamed of or try to avoid, but to uncover as soon as possible so you can determine the cause of the issue and hopefully find a way to treat it.

Common Causes

The most common reason for male infertility has something to do with the making or moving of the sperm. Yet, there are activities one might engage in in their day to day life that you didn’t realize could be causing the problem.

Causes for low sperm count or abnormal sperm include:

  • varicocele (a collection of veins that abnormally sit above the testicle)
  • infections in the testicle
  • undescended testicle
  • cancer and cancer treatments
  • anabolic steroids or anti-seizure medicines
  • genetic abnormalities
  • hormone problems

Causes For Issues With Sperm Mobility

  • Retrograde ejaculation (semen ejaculates up into the bladder instead of out of the penis)
  • The absence of the main sperm pipeline (the vas deferens)
  • obstruction between the testicles and penis
  • anti-sperm antibodies that attack the man’s sperm

Activities That Can Have A Negative Effect On Sperm

  • excessive drinking (more than 2 drinks per day)
  • tobacco or marijuana use
  • hot tubs and hot baths
  • high amounts of stress
  • taking testosterone over the counter

These facts are often difficult for men to accept, and understandably so. The good news is that 90% of the things that cause male infertility are treatable by a specialist.

Treatment Options

Some of the most common treatment options for infertility in men include:

  • varicocele repair
  • hormone treatment
  • surgery to remove obstructions the are getting in the way of traveling sperm

Lifestyle changes may also be implemented to help a man care for his own sperm and increase his fertility, such as:

  • drinking less alcohol
  • giving up smoking
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • avoiding hot baths
  • regular exercise

Seeing A Specialist

The main thing is to try your best not to get discouraged. There are trained professionals that are ready and eager to get to the bottom of the issue and find a way to fix it. Schedule an appointment today and get yourself headed down a path toward awareness and productivity. Don’t sit in fear, take action to get the results that you deserve. Once you find the right specialist for you, that is all you need to get you moving in the right direction.

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Topics: Male Fertility

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