For many couples, starting a family is a simple and natural experience. However, some couples may experience difficulty and frustration when trying to conceive a child due to male infertility.
Male infertility generally depends on the quantity and quality of your sperm. If your sperm count is low, or if your sperm is of poor quality, then it will be difficult, maybe even impossible, to conceive a child with your partner. Male infertility is widespread, and for about 30% of infertile couples, the problem is solely with the male partner. About 1 in 20 men have a low sperm count, with about 1 in every 100 men having no sperm at all. There are no obvious signs of infertility and you will need medical tests in order to properly diagnose infertility. If you have been trying to conceive without success for at least 12 months, with regular sex, then it is worth consulting your doctor. Infertility can be a sign of other (possibly undiagnosed) health problems, so it is important to you seek proper health advice.
Male infertility can be caused by a number of factors that affect sperm production or how the sperm travels. About 2 out of every 3 infertile men have the problem of insufficient sperm production or low quality sperm. About 1 in 5 infertile men have other physical problems, (including voluntary vasectomy). Obstructions in your reproductive organs can stop you from properly ejaculating sperm. Other less common causes of male include low hormone levels, sperm antibodies (antibodies which fight against sperm) or even genetic mutations.
Often, a significant proportion of infertile men have a treatable condition, and will be able to conceive naturally after treatment. In some cases, your doctor will recommend assisted reproductive treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). These methods don’t address infertility, but will provide an alternative method for couples to achieve pregnancy. If you have had a vasectomy in the pass and are trying to conceive, vasectomy reversal is another option available.
However, the best treatment is always prevention, and there are a number of things you can do to decrease your chance of infertility. Smoking, excess drinking, STIs, anabolic steroids, and even tight fitting underwear have been shown to decrease sperm count and sperm quality, so do your best to avoid these factors. If your workplace is potentially hazardous, it is important to wear the appropriate protective clothing and to follow occupational health and safety guidelines.
Southgate Medical Centre