Up to 15 percent of couples are infertile. This means they aren’t able to conceive a child, even though they have had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In over a third of these couples, male infertility plays a role. Not being able to conceive a child can be stressful and frustrating, but a number of male infertility treatments are available
Infertility affects approximately 1 out of every 6 couples and diagnosis is given to a couple who are unable to conceive over the course of one year. When the problem lies with the male partner, it is referred to as Male infertility. Male infertility factors contribute to approximately 30% of all infertility cases, and male infertility alone accounts for approximately one-fifth of all infertility cases. Male fertility is a complex process. To be able to get your partner pregnant, you must produce a healthy sperm, sperm produced have to be carried into the semen, there needs to be enough sperm in the semen and the sperm must be functional and able to move.
Causes of male Infertility
The causes of male infertility might be of a medical origin, environmental influence or lifestyle causes.
Varicocele: This is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle; it is the most common reversible cause of male infertility. It results in reduced quality of the sperm.
Infection: some infections can interfere with sperm production or sperm health and cause scarring the blocks the passage of sperm. They include epididymis, orchitis and some sexually transmitted infection
Ejaculation issues: Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out the tip of the penis. Some conditions that can cause retrograde ejaculation include diabetes, spinal injuries, surgery of the bladder.
Certain Medications: Testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications, antifungals, and some ulcer drugs can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility.
Prior Surgeries: Certain surgeries may prevent you from having sperm in you ejaculate, including vasectomy, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or testicular surgeries, prostate surgeries, and large abdominal surgeries performed for testicular and recta cancers, among others. In most cases, surgery can be performed to either reverse these blockage or to retrieve sperm directly from the epididymis and testicles.
Abnormally developed testicles: This can also result in infertility as sperm production is impaired.
Overexposure to certain environmental elements such as heat, toxins and chemicals can reduce sperm production or sperm functions. These causes might include exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metal exposure, radiation or x-rays, overheating the testicles, sitting for long periods, wearing tight clothing or working on a laptop computer for long stretches of time may increase the temperature in your scrotum and may slightly reduce sperm production
Drug use: Anabolic steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to decrease. Use of cocaine or marijuana may temporarily reduce the number and quality of your sperm as well
Alcohol use: Drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels, cause erectile dysfunction and decrease sperm production.
Tobacco smoking: men who smoke may have a lower sperm count than do those who don’t smoke. Second hand smoke also may affect male fertility
Emotional Stress: Stress can interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Severe or prolonged emotional stress, including problems with fertility can affect sperm count
Weight: Obesity can impair fertility in several ways including directly impacting sperm themselves as well as by causing hormone changes that reduce male fertility