Why Is Male Infertility Increasing?

Male Infertility

Male infertility cases are currently increasing daily at an alarming rate. The man in question might have one or a combination of challenges that result in infertility like low sperm count, low sperm motility, or abnormal morphology. Male Infertility is a condition whereby a man fails to impregnate a woman after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.

Over the past few decades, and as the things of the world change, so what affects man also changes. The whole world now is a global village with new technology everywhere, and more scientific breakthroughs coming up daily. The side effects of all these new technological developments have adverse effects that are known to scientists and some are yet to be discovered.

Medical Laboratory Scientist like me (Sony Eguabor) has been the stressing the alarming rate of low sperm count for the past ten years. Out of 100 samples of semen Analysis conducted by my colleagues in the laboratory, about 65% of the cases are infertile.

Why Infertility Is Increasing In Men:

 [1] Social Life Choices

There are many reasons behind the rise in male infertility. Some of the reasons are related to social changes in our environment and changes in our society. Many years back marriages between men and women were conducted at an early age averaging between 18 – 25 years. But now is a different story. Many couples nowadays are waiting longer to start their families. This might be due to their education. They might want to be well established in their careers, or they might want to be financially free before thinking of marriage.

Delay having a family might have its merits, but it comes with its disadvantages also. The passing years may include more exposure to environmental toxins and sexually transmitted diseases that were not well treated. As we move on in life, at times, we encounter sickness. Some drugs used for treating certain ailment causes erectile dysfunction which leads to male infertility.

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[2] Environmental Exposure and Pollution

Environmental pollution is a silent factor that causes male infertility that people are not talking about. The inhaling of substances that can’t be eliminated from our system blocks some pathway that affects fertility. Heat around the genital, chemicals, and toxins can cause deterioration in the quality of sperm. Our concerns are:

  • Men who are exposed to or use industrial and agricultural chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, organic solvents, and painting materials are likely to have an infertility problem. The listed above has an impact on sperm quality.
  • Frequent exposure to X-ray or any form of radiation can reduce sperm count quality.
  • Frequent use of hot tubs or saunas that can cause overheating affects sperm quality. Similarly, any rise in the scrotal temperature either by using tight clothing or even using a laptop placed directly on the lap for a long period increases temperature in the scrotum, thereby inhibiting the testis from the full performance.  
  • Social environmental lifestyle choices such as the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are commonly used by some men who want to feel great among their friends. This act is more predominant with young men. Some call it enjoyment. While some indulge in it out of frustration. All these affect sperm production and its viability.

[3] Testosterone levels:

For a man to perform his role well, the level of testosterone has to be within the normal range. Statistics have shown a decrease in it in recent times. The levels have been noticed to have also dropped beginning in utero and extending into adulthood according to scientist findings. A low level of testosterone is a pointer to infertility. But what causes the low level of testosterone? Many underlying factors are involved in its production which the deficiency of each will affect the other.

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[4] Chemical:

With the new scientific developments in all fields of life, the chemical revolution has come to stay with us. The by-product of chemical research can be felt in the area of medicines, new food sources, faster and cheaper mass production of all sorts of necessary products.

Any chemical that inhibits your hormones from performing its function is called an endocrine disruptor. Unfortunately, most of the compounds used in manufacturing plastics i.e. soft and flexible (phthalates) are endocrine disruptors. The compound used to make the plastics harder and stronger (like Bisphenol A, or BPA) are also endocrine disruptors.

In the bloodstream, the presence of phthalates and BPA mimic the action of estrogen. If phthalates level is high in the blood, you’ll most likely be producing less testosterone and fewer sperm cells. So phthalates decrease testosterone production.

The challenge now is that these chemicals are everywhere. BPA compounds can be found in water bottles and food containers. Phthalates are so common that they can be found in coatings of pills, nutritional supplements, used in gelling agents, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, and suspending agents. You can also find the phthalates in medical devices, detergents, packaging, paint, and modelling clay, just to mention a few.

The fourth coming generation can acquire this endocrine disruptor from their parent. That means it can be hereditary which signifies a continuous generational problem of male infertility mainly caused by our scientific breakthrough in the use of chemical compounds. Evidence reveals that the effect of these endocrine disruptor’s increases over generations, due to something called epigenetic inheritance.

Most of these factors that are likely to increase male infertility are what one can’t avoid or run away from. Apart from your personal social life choices, other causes are part of our daily living. The best for men going through this condition are to avoid what they can easily avoid and seek medical help. The beauty of male infertility is that it is treatable.

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