Infertility

Usually it is considered a case of infertility when a couple try to conceive children for a year or longer and fail to do so even though they have had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse.

In over a third of these couples, male infertility plays a role. Infertility or sterility in men is a case when a man is not able to conceive mainly due to low ‎sperm production. ‎
Low sperm count is when a man has less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or a total sperm ‎count of less than 39 million per ejaculate.‎

However, there are many other causes to infertility in men, which we will ‎discuss below.

Causes for Infertility in Men

  1. Low sperm production.
  2. Abnormal sperm function.
  3. A Defect of tubules that transport sperm, which causes blockage that prevents the delivery of sperm.
  4. Illnesses and chronic health issues such as celiac disease, diabetes, spinal injury, bladder surgery or prostate surgery, which can cause ejaculation issues.
  5. Lifestyle such as drug use, alcohol, smoking, stress, depression, obesity or overweight.
  6. Hormonal imbalance including low testosterone and thyroid disorders, which can affect male fertility.
  7. Varicocele – dilated veins around the testicle, which is the most common cause of male infertility.
  8. Inherited disorder.
  9. Retrograde ejaculation – when the semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of coming out the penis.
  10. Problems with sexual intercourse that include ‎erectile dysfunction – difficulty maintaining an erection, premature ejaculation, and painful intercourse.
  11. Psychological disorders or problems inside a relationship that interfere with sex.
  12. Exposure to high temperatures, since elevated temperatures will overheat the testicles and impair sperm production and function.
  13. Some infections including epididymitis or orchitis and some STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
  14. Certain medications such as Testosterone replacement therapy, chemotherapy, and some antifungal medications.
  15. The conventional treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  16. An autoimmune disorder in which the immune system produces Anti-sperm antibodies that mistakenly identify sperm as harmful invaders and attack them.
  17. Cancerous tumors and nonmalignant tumors can directly affect the male reproductive organs.
  18. Extended exposure to industrial chemicals such as benzene, pesticides, organic solvents, and painting materials may contribute to low sperm count.
  19. Exposure to heavy metals or radiation.

Symptoms

  1. Usually the main sign to infertility is the inability to conceive a child.
  2. Sexual dysfunction such as difficulty with ejaculation or low volumes of ejaculated fluid – semen.
  3. Low sex drive.
  4. Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area.
  5. Recurrent respiratory infections may indicate problems with fertility.
  6. Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia).
  7. Decreased facial or body hair due to hormonal abnormality.

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