If you struggle with the problem of male infertility, you are not alone. Fifteen percent of couples suffer from infertility and about half of these issues are due to male infertility. Infertility is characterized by perpetual, unprotected intercourse for over a year without a resulted pregnancy. Male infertility is caused by a low sperm production, immobile sperm, misshapen sperm or blockages that hinder the delivery of the sperm. Many different factors play a role in male infertility and very few are under the affected person’s personal control. Some of the factors that contribute to male infertility are sicknesses, diseases, injuries, incurable health complications and behavior choices. In today’s technologically and medically advanced world, however, there is help for those suffering from male infertility. Different types of treatments can be applied on the male, female or both partners.
Plenty of men go through most of their life without knowing that they are infertile. Though the inability to conceive a child is the most prominent symptom of infertility, there are symptoms that show themselves perhaps before you reach this step in your life that should be cause for concern. General problems with sexual function is usually a red flag. This can be in the form of struggling to reach the climax (hindered ejaculation) or difficulty maintaining an erection. Other signs are pain, swelling or lumps in the testicle region and decreased facial or bodily hair, as these are signs of chromosomal and hormonal abnormality. It’s important to visit your doctor, if any of these symptoms apply to you, in order to receive an accurate diagnosis of the problem or perhaps to prevent a problem from developing.
The problem of male infertility should come as less of a shock to you once you realize all the complexities that fertility entails. First, you must produce healthy sperm, a process that begins in puberty. Then, this sperm (and a large number of specimen at that) must travel through fragile tubes to mix with the semen. Finally, if you make it through the previous steps, the sperm specimen must be shaped perfectly to move properly toward the egg.
There are several medical, environmental and health/lifestyle causes that prevent this process from functioning normally and cause male infertility. Medical problems that cause infertility include:
– Varicocele (swelling of the veins)
– Retrograde or lack of ejaculation
– Antibodies that attack sperm
– Hormonal imbalances
– Chromosome defects
– Undescended testicles
– Sperm duct defects
– General problems with sexual intercourse.
Environmental problems that cause male infertility include:
– Heavy Metal Exposure
– Exposure to radiation or x-rays
– Overheating the testicles (this includes wearing tight clothing)
– Prolonged bicycling
Health and Lifestyle causes:
– Illegal drug use
– Alcohol abuse
– Tobacco smoking
– Emotional stress
– Vitamin deficiency
– Weight problems- either overweight or underweight
– Age- around 35+
However, there’s no need to feel helpless or discouraged if you are plagued with male infertility. Many treatments are available to help fix the problem. Surgery is a plausible treatment option if you suffer from Varicocele or another kind of vein disorder. Antibiotic treatments or other treatments for infections that cause male infertility would consequentially eliminate this problem. Medication and counseling can also be forms of treatment for sexual dysfunction and thus increase fertility. Your doctor can also recommend hormone replacement, or medications that alter your hormone levels, in order to increase fertility as well.
In the event that there are no treatment options for you, there are many things you can do to overcome male infertility. Talk to your doctor about sperm donation or possibly adoption. Many couples dealing with infertility have chosen one of these options and have had very positive and enriching experiences from them. You don’t have to let infertility prevent you from having the family you’ve always dreamed of.