For nearly 15 percent of American couples, infertility is a real struggle. Many factors have an impact on fertility, and both partners’ health plays a key role. Male infertility is about half the reason that couples fail to conceive, but do you know what factors into male fertility? Knowing the things that can harm male fertility can help you safeguard yours.
Low sperm production, abnormal sperm function, and blockages that prevent sperm delivery are the primary causes of male infertility. These issues may be the result of an underlying health problem, sometimes one over which you have no control. However, lifestyle factors can also have a major impact.
A recent study linked manual labor with low sperm counts. In a study of 456 men around the age of 32, researchers discovered that 13 percent of the men with physically demanding jobs had low sperm count, as opposed to only 6 percent of men without strenuous work. Other things that had a negative impact on fertility included:
- High blood pressure
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Using alcohol and marijuana excessively
- Taking certain illicit drugs including anabolic steroids and cocaine.
- Being overweight
- Suffering emotional stress
- Overheated testicles from frequent use of saunas or hot tubs, prolonged sitting, wearing tight clothing, or working on a laptop for extended periods
- Exposure to toxins like benzenes, pesticides, herbicides, etc. which can lower sperm count
- Current or past STIs including chlamydia and gonorrhea
- Certain prolonged activities like biking or horseback riding, especially on a hard seat or poorly adjusted bicycle
Other medical causes include hormonal imbalances, sperm duct defects, undescended testicles, tumors, and varicocele. A varicocele is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicles, and this swelling can prevent normal cooling. This is the most common cause of male infertility, but it’s also, fortunately, reversible. Varicoceles are often asymptomatic at first, but can enlarge, becoming noticeable or causing pain.
Unless you’re trying to conceive and having difficulty, you may not be aware that you have fertility issues. However, in some cases, there are signs and symptoms. If you experience problems with sexual function, pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area, frequent respiratory infections, or decreased facial or body hair, schedule a visit with your doctor to check on your fertility.
If you’re struggling with infertility or considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
Sometimes, a vasectomy reversal by itself isn’t enough to fully correct male infertility. If a man has low sperm count, the chances of conceiving a child naturally aren’t favorable. But don’t give up hope if you’ve been told your sperm count is low. You and your partner may have the option of having surgical sperm retrieval, followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The veins in the scrotum may sometimes become enlarged. This is known as a varicocele, and it’s a common cause of low sperm count . Most men don’t realize they have a varicocele, as it doesn’t usually cause noticeable symptoms. Occasionally, men may experience pain in the scrotal area. The pain typically worsens with activity and prolonged standing.
Spinal injuries, diabetes, and a history of prostate, urethral, or bladder surgery can elevate the risk of retrograde ejaculation. This condition occurs when the semen flows into the bladder instead of out through the penis. It’s sometimes possible to correct retrograde ejaculation. When correction isn’t feasible, men can still become fathers via sperm retrieval and IVF.
It’s possible for certain infections to cause scar tissue to accumulate in the male reproductive area. This scar tissue may prevent the normal travel of sperm. Some infections may also directly lower sperm production. Gonorrhea and HIV are two examples of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can result in this problem. The inflammation of the testicles, called orchitis, and the inflammation of the epididymis are other types of infections that can cause low sperm count.
A man’s sperm count can be adversely affected by the exposure to environmental toxins. These can include industrial chemicals, such as pesticides, paint, lead, and organic solvents. Men who have previously received radiation therapy or X-rays in the reproductive area can have reduced sperm production. This may improve after a few years, or it may be permanent.
Dr. Green at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a widely recognized expert in the field of male infertility. He specializes in vasectomy reversals at his Sarasota clinic, as well as sperm retrieval procedures for IVF. Schedule a consult today by calling (941) 894-6428.
Male infertility is a problem that affects millions of people. Most often, male infertility is caused by problems with sperm, such as poor sperm quality and low sperm count. If you’ve been diagnosed with low sperm count, it means that there are fewer than 15 million sperm for every milliliter of sperm. If you have a low sperm count, it can lower the chances for fertilization of an egg.
There are many possible causes of low sperm count. For example, some men have blockages of the tubules that are responsible for carrying sperm. The sperm may be blocked in the vas deferens, at the epididymis, or at other areas. Men who decide to have vasectomy reversals may resolve this problem with a vasoepididymostomy, which can be performed at the same time as the vasectomy reversal. This technique connects the vas deferens to the epididymis.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal and Male Infertility, Dr. Joshua Green can perform a vasoepididymostomy at the same time as a vasectomy reversal in Sarasota—at no extra charge. Call (941) 961-4581 for information about becoming a patient at Dr. Green’s clinic
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