As a couple, you decide to see a doctor at a fertility clinic in your neighbourhood when you notice your effort is not fruitful to your parenthood journey. After interacting with both of you and going through your medical history, the doctor recommends a few tests for you. And the test results reveal there is a male factor infertility obstructing both of you from having a child. The doctor will help you get rid of it. However, you should know what causes infertility in males at your end. Keep reading this post to educate yourself.
Infertility is a condition where a person is unable to conceive a child despite having regular, unprotected sex for a year or longer. Male infertility accounts for around 30-40% of all infertility cases, and it is caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common causes of male infertility:
Low sperm count
This is the most common cause of male infertility. A low sperm count means that there are fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. Low sperm count can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances, varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum), infections, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use.
Even if a man has a high sperm count, the quality of his sperm can also affect his fertility. Abnormal sperm may have a variety of problems, such as misshapen heads or tails, or reduced motility (ability to swim). These abnormalities can make it difficult for the sperm to reach and fertilise an egg.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. ED can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances, diabetes, heart disease, and psychological factors such as anxiety and depression. ED can make it difficult or impossible to have sexual intercourse, which can lead to infertility.
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Retrograde ejaculation is a condition where semen is ejaculated into the bladder instead of out of the penis during ejaculation. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain medications, surgery, or nerve damage. Retrograde ejaculation can make it difficult or impossible for a man to impregnate his partner.
Blockages in the reproductive tract
Blockages in the reproductive tract can prevent sperm from being ejaculated or from reaching the egg. These blockages can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, surgery, or congenital abnormalities. In some cases, blockages can be surgically corrected, allowing for normal sperm function and fertility.
Genetic factors can also contribute to male infertility. Certain genetic conditions, such as Klinefelter syndrome, can affect the development of the male reproductive system and lead to infertility. Genetic testing can help to identify any underlying genetic factors that may be contributing to infertility.
Exposure to certain environmental toxins and chemicals can also contribute to male infertility. Pesticides, lead, and other toxins can damage sperm and reduce fertility. In addition, exposure to high temperatures, such as from hot tubs or saunas, can also reduce sperm production and quality.
While age is often associated with female infertility, it can also affect male fertility. As men age, their sperm count and motility may decrease, making it more difficult to conceive a child.
It is important to note that many cases of male infertility are treatable. Depending on the underlying cause of infertility, treatment options may include medication, surgery, or lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or reducing alcohol consumption. In some cases, assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be necessary to achieve a pregnancy.
If you are experiencing difficulty conceiving, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider who can help to identify any underlying causes of infertility and recommend appropriate treatment options. With the right diagnosis and treatment, many couples are able to overcome male infertility and achieve a successful pregnancy.