What is Male Infertility?
Male infertility is the inability to get a lady pregnant. Male infertility starts right from the production level in the testes. What are the causes of male infertility? It is either due to inadequate production of the semen, non-healthy sperm cells production, or non-actively motile sperm cells. Male infertility hormones such as (Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are the root causes most times. They have to be between normal ranges. High levels or low, or too low will result in infertility problems.
Male fertility depends on your body’s hormones to produce normal active sperm cells and release them when necessary. During ejaculation, the sperm cells are released into the female’s vagina, where it moves through the woman’s cervix to her uterus and finally into her fallopian tubes. It is there the sperm and the female egg meets. The union of the two is a process called fertilization.
What are the symptoms of male infertility?
Most males do not show any significant symptoms when it comes to infertility. The sex life will be normal. The duration during sex at times depends on the individual, and it is not related to infertility. Male erection and ejaculation do not also affect their fertility. Some female partners might notice watery sperm, but this is not a confirmatory case for infertility.
The main symptom of male infertility is not getting a woman pregnant, and you’ll need a laboratory test to help confirm it. In some men with infertility, they might experience some signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function.
Causes of male infertility
Male infertility can only be identified after a couple’s persistent, unsuccessful attempts at conception, but they are always confirmed after series of laboratory tests. Male infertility can be traced through (a) the hormones responsible for the genesis of the production itself (b) how healthy and active the sperm cells are from the production site to the point of action. Apart from these above-listed conditions, here are ten key factors for us to consider relating to the cause of male infertility.
- Obesity: It is known that obesity has an impact on sperm quality. Fat deposits can overload and influence the metabolism of androgens which play a major role in male traits and reproductive activity, especially testosterone. When this happens, it causes significant alterations in sperm development and sperm DNA in the nucleus.
For men, the sperm count can also be affected because of obesity. Sexual dysfunction can also result from obsessed men.
- Smoking: Smoking in any form has a significant negative effect on sperm because of nicotine and cannabinoid receptors in testicular tissue. Oxidative stress which is the result of an imbalance nicotine level in the body influences sperm quality. This, therefore, affects the fertilization process causing infertility. Any form of hard drugs that affects the nervous system also has a by-product effect on the well-being of the sperm cells.
- Radiation: It is advisable to always wear a protective covering if you’re working in a place where radiation equipment is used. This kind of rays can penetrate one’s skin and harm internally. Most have linked the use of lap-top by men to cause infertility. In the case of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, all the fertility preservation control protocol has to be adhered to, otherwise, it will result in infertility.
- Nutrition: Unbalanced diet not only causes malnutrition, but lack of proteins food affects cell growth. This indirectly dictates to the sex hormone what to do. An unbalanced diet produces non-balanced sperm cells, which can cause abnormalities. This also affects fertility. Food that is rich in antioxidants can help in preserving male infertility. Dietary deficiencies, such as zinc, vitamin C, folic acid can prompt male infertility.
- Supplements and steroids: Be very careful of what goes into your system. Food supplements should be taken with precaution because you do not know what the ingredients it is composed of. Testosterone injections and other steroid preparations took without the supervision of your doctor can cause harm to sperm production. Excess of coffee drinking should be minimized.
- High testicular temperature: The testis that produces the sperm cells hangs outside the body in a scrotal sac. They function better in an atmosphere that is lower than the internal body temperature. Any slight increase in testicular temperature affects the sperm quality and functionality.
There are different kinds of factors that can cause changes in testicular temperatures, such as the male’s occupation, such as truck drivers, welders, or firefighters, or habits, such as excessive use of the hot tub or tight clothing, or wearing tight underwear, the use of laptops.
- Infections: Not well treated Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) generally can cause infertility in males. Some patients are not used to complying well with their doctor’s prescription. What is supposed to last for 7 days treatments is taken for 5 days. How do you expect proper healing?
Some assume that, as the symptoms of the infection are gone, that means they’re entirely cured. This is wrong. The bacteria might be suppressed or in the process of being eliminated from the body, but when you stop using the drug, they readjust and the whole area will be re-infected again. The gonad cells might be affected, reducing their functionality and resulting in low sperm count.
- Genital injuries: Any form of injuries should not be taken lightly, especially if it is related to the genital area. Because you don’t know the extent of the damage done during any form of genital injuries, that is the more reason, you need to inform your doctor in time. Testicular injuries should be treated without delay because of their sensitivity.
- Varicocoele: Varicoceles is a condition where the veins in the scrotum are swollen. It affects sperm cell production by blocking proper blood drainage. Testicular temperature becomes high, thereby influencing sperm production and quality. This can cause a low sperm count.
- Age: The higher the age, the more likely for men to become infertile. Male fertility hormone decreases with age. You can’t expect the same level of hormones in men over 60 years compared to men between 35 and 45 years. The body changes. Sex performance changes. Erectile dysfunction might set in due to prostate problems. Sperm count might also be affected including its motility. The reproductive potential of men thereby drops with age.
Infertility in males is not a thing to be taken lightly, especially if you want to father a child. The first point of call is your doctor. Your doctor will give you the best advice and treatment and luckily, it is treatable.