Almost one in seven couples is sterile, which means they couldn’t get pregnant despite having had frequent, unprotected sex for a year or more. In up to half of these couples, male infertility plays at least a partial role.
Male infertility can be caused by poor sperm production, abnormal sperm function, or blockages that prevent sperm from shedding. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health conditions, lifestyle choices, and other factors can all contribute to male infertility.
The inability to conceive can be stressful and frustrating, but there are a number of treatments for male infertility.
The main sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. There may not be any other obvious signs or symptoms.
However, in some cases, an underlying problem, such as a hereditary disease, hormonal imbalance, dilated veins around the testicles, or a condition blocking the passage of sperm, causes signs and symptoms.
Some of the signs and symptoms you may notice include:
- Problems with sexual function – for example, difficulty ejaculating or ejaculating small amounts of fluids, decreased sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Pain, swelling, or lumps in the testicle area
- Recurrent respiratory infections
- Inability to smell
Male fertility is a complex process. In order to get your partner pregnant, the following must happen:
- You need to produce healthy semen. First of all, it is about the growth and formation of male reproductive organs during puberty. At least one of your testicles needs to be working properly, and your body needs to produce testosterone and other hormones in order to trigger and keep sperm production going.
- The sperm must be transported in the sperm. Once the sperm are produced in the testicles, they carry delicate tubes until they mix with the sperm and ejaculate out of the penis.
- There must be enough semen in the semen. If the number of sperm in your sperm (sperm count) is low, the chance that one of your sperm will fertilize your partner’s egg is reduced. A low sperm count is less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or less than 39 million per ejaculate.
Risk factors associated with male infertility include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Use alcohol
- Use of certain illegal drugs
- To be overweight
- Do you have any past or present infections
- Exposure to toxins
- Overheating of the testicles
Male infertility complications can include:
- Stress and relationship difficulties related to the inability to have a child
- Expensive and complex reproduction techniques
- Increased risk of testicular cancer, melanoma, colon cancer and prostate cancer
Male infertility is not always preventable. However, there are a few known causes of male infertility that you can avoid. For example:
- Do not smoke.
- Limit or refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Avoid illegal drugs.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do not perform a vasectomy.
- Avoid things that will heat the testicles for long periods of time.
- Reduce stress.