Symptoms of Male Infertility

Fertility difficulties affect nearly one in seven couples who are trying to have a baby. “Infertility” is defined as the inability to conceive despite having frequent, unprotected intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of all cases, male infertility is at least partially to blame. Consider what male infertility looks like and how you can combat it.

Causes of Male Infertility

Low fertility in men is a complex subject. In short, semen must contain enough healthy, functional sperm to produce a pregnancy. There are many possible reasons why this may not be the case, including:

  • Varicocele (swelling of the veins that drain the testicle)
  • Infections, including epididymitis, orchitis, gonorrhea, or HIV
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Dysfunctional immune cells that attack sperm
  • Cancer and nonmalignant tumors
  • Undescended testicles
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Tubule defects or blockages
  • Chromosome defects
  • Erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation
  • Celiac disease
  • Certain medications
  • Vasectomy or other surgeries on the testicles, scrotum, or prostate
  • Exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metals, or radiation
  • Overheated testicles
  • Drug, tobacco, and alcohol use
  • Obesity

Symptoms of Male Infertility

Apart from being unable to conceive a child, there may be no other indications that you are infertile. However, depending on the underlying cause, these additional symptoms may be present:

  • Sexual dysfunction, such as difficulty maintaining an erection, limited ejaculation, or low sex drive
  • Pain, swelling, or lump in the testicle area
  • Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia)
  • Decreased facial or body hair

Treatments for Male Infertility

If you are struggling to get your partner pregnant, consider that simple lifestyle changes can make a difference. Here’s what to try first:

  • Quit smoking, limit your alcohol use, and avoid illicit drugs.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Reduce your stress level.
  • Steer clear of chemicals and other environmental hazards.
  • Avoid tightly fitting underwear and jeans.
  • Don’t take steroids for bodybuilding or sporting purposes.

More formal treatments for male infertility include:

  • Surgery to correct obstructed tubules or reverse a prior vasectomy
  • Antibiotic treatment for underlying infections
  • Medication or counseling for erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation
  • Hormone treatments and medications

One in eight male infertility cases are treatable, allowing couples to get pregnant naturally after receiving the proper care. If male infertility treatment doesn’t work, you may still be a candidate for assisted reproductive technology (ART). This involves collecting sperm to be inserted into the female reproductive system or used with in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Your doctor might also suggest considering a sperm donor or adopting a child.

Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men overcome infertility problems. All infertility procedures, including vasectomy reversal, are performed with state-of-the-art equipment, including a high-powered operating microscope. Patients can expect concierge-level care and friendly staff interactions every step of the way. To learn more, please call 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.