Male Infertility Causes
50 percent of infertility is directly or indirectly linked to the man. Up to 10 percent of all men of reproductive age are considered infertile. The majority of male infertility can be diagnosed through a semen analysis and a blood test. Following are some of the most common causes of male infertility:
- Retrograde Ejaculation – This is a condition in which semen enters the bladder instead of coming out of the penis during ejaculation. This condition can be caused by diabetes, certain medication and/or surgery of the bladder, urethra or prostate. It may be treated with over-the-counter cold medicine or surgery.
- Blockages – Blockages in parts of the reproductive tract can cause the sperm to be ejaculated incorrectly. This can be caused by physical damage or birth defects or other reasons unknown. At times, surgery may be able to correct the problem.
- Genetic Diseases – Some genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis or chromosomal disorders such as Klinefelter Syndrome can cause infertility. In Cystic Fibrosis, most men are known to be sterile. Klinefelter Syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that affects men and causes Hypogonadism. This condition causes an extra X chromosome. Symptoms consist of the late or lack of development of secondary sex characteristics during puberty, testicular differences and infertility. In these conditions pregnancy may be achieved through the use of Assisted Reproduction.
- Autoimmune Issues – A case in which the immune system attacks the sperm cells as if they were a foreign body. This may be diagnosed through a blood test.
- Hormonal Issues – Hormonal imbalances can cause fertility problems. These problems may be diagnosed through the use of a blood test and treated with hormone therapy.
- Varicoceles – Plainly put, a varicocele is a varicose vein in the scrotum. These enlarged, protruding veins may cause blood to not flow properly. Many times surgery is performed to fix this problem.
- Heat near the testicles – The scrotum hangs from the body to keep the contents cooler than the rest of the body. When the testicles get too hot then sperm production can be reduced greatly. Many things can cause the testicles to become too hot; hot baths, use of hot tubs, tight fitting clothing or underwear (try wearing boxers which reduce heat), or frequent bike riding. These things should be avoided, or at least reduced, while trying to conceive.
Many other things can also cause infertility such as the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, excess exercise (which can release too many steroid hormones that lower fertility), toxins, environmental hazards, STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) may temporarily affect sperm until treated, sexual performance problems such as impotence or premature ejaculation, or the use of certain medications such as anti-depressants. If any of these things pertain to you then you should discuss them with your health care professional.