Male Infertility is a big Problem. I agree. You also agree.
Not being able to conceive a child can be stressful and frustrating. In fact is stressful and frustrating. It has cracked many relationships and brought a lot of pain and heart breaks.
Did you know that a number of male infertility treatments are available? The purpose of this post is to outline the causes and tell you what to do if you are affected
Read on calmly, let’s talk about it.
Some time ago while working in a surgery unit, I was amazed at the sheer number of people coming for fertility related issues, and subsequent surgeries for correction.
Then, I didn’t give it a serious thought until one day when after files and files of similar cases, it downed on me that this was really becoming a big issue among our people.
Almost all of them were newly married folks-men in their prime. And I could feel the pain, the anxiety and anticipation in their countenance. Would it be real this time or not?
Of course everyone hopes and believes.
In our part of the world, the inability to conceive is a big problem that sometimes can terminate a marriage. Many marriages have indeed been terminated by this factor alone.
And you know what? The annoying aspect is, the blame is usually placed to the woman. However several researches have shown that in over a third of infertility cases, the problem is with the man. This does not rule out the possibility of the woman having the problem, though. And for this, I think the man should always take a deeper look inwards first as soon as the couple notices any delays, until proven otherwise.
Causes of Male Infertility
What are the causes of this giant peace and joy killer?
The causes can be classed into 3 major factors: deficiencies in sperm formation, concentration, or transportation.
Male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production or sperm transport. Through medical testing, the doctor may be able to find the cause of the problem.
Male infertility is due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm.
Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility.
About two-thirds of infertile men have a problem with making sperm in the testes. Either low numbers of sperm are made and/or the sperm that are made do not work properly.
Reasons for a low sperm count or lack of sperm include one or more of the following:
- A pre-existing genetic condition
- Use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
- Severe mumps infection after puberty
- Hernia repairs
- Hormone disorder
- Exposure to poisonous chemicals
- Exposure to radiation
Blockage caused from a previous infection
Wearing restrictive or tight underwear
Injury to the groin area
Male infertility can also occur when there are problems with ejaculation.
The treatment option for each person depends on the type and the cause. Once the diagnoses are made and the cause or type identified, the next step is to follow through with the treatment option available.
Male infertility can be treated and it is only in few cases that it is not treatable,hence you should not allow anxiety to take the best of you. The treatments are handled this way:
Use of Surgery. For example, a varicocele can often be surgically corrected or an obstructed vas deferens repaired. Prior vasectomies can be reversed.
In cases where no sperm are present in the ejaculate, sperm can often be retrieved directly from the testicles or epididymis using sperm retrieval techniques.
Treating infections. Antibiotic treatment might cure an infection of the reproductive tract, but doesn’t always restore fertility.
Treatments for sexual intercourse problems. Medication or counseling can help improve fertility in conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
Hormone treatments and medications. Your doctor might recommend hormone replacement or medications in cases where infertility is caused by high or low levels of certain hormones or problems with the way the body uses hormones.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART treatments involve obtaining sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction or from donor individuals, depending on your specific case and wishes. The sperm are then inserted into the female genital tract, or used to perform in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
HOW TO MAINTAIN THE FERTILITY
Just like every other aspect of our lives, the sexual health is important, if not most important for some people. As we have seen from above, there are factors that affect male fertility and some of them can be prevented. There are certain actions that men can undertake to preserve their fertility and also maintain or improve it.
What’s the best way to produce healthy sperm?
You can take simple steps to increase your chances of producing healthy sperm. For example:
Maintain a healthy weight. Some research suggests that increasing BMI is linked with decreasing sperm count and sperm movement.
Eat a healthy diet. Choose plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants — and might help improve sperm health.
Prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexually transmitted infections — such as chlamydia and gonorrhea — are a cause of infertility for men. To protect yourself, limit your number of sexual partners and use a condom each time you have sex — or stay in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who isn’t infected.
Manage stress. Stress can decrease sexual function and interfere with the hormones needed to produce sperm.
Physical Activities. Moderate physical activity can increase levels of powerful antioxidant enzymes, which can help protect sperm.
Sperm can be especially vulnerable to environmental factors, such as exposure to excessive heat or toxic chemicals. To protect your fertility:
Stop Smoking. Men who smoke cigarettes are more likely to have low sperm counts. Smoking can also decrease sperm movement and cause sperm to be misshapen. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit.
Reduce alcohol intake. Heavy drinking can lead to reduced testosterone production, impotence and decreased sperm production. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
Use of lubricants during sex. While further research is needed on the effects of lubricants on fertility, consider avoiding lubricants during intercourse. If necessary, consider using baby oil, canola oil, egg white, or a fertility friendly lubricant, such as Pre-Seed.
Review your medications. Calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, anti-androgens and other medications can contribute to fertility issues. Anabolic steroids can have the same effect.
Cancer treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer can impair sperm production and cause infertility that might be permanent. Ask your doctor about the impact on your fertility — or the possibility of retrieving and storing sperm before treatment.
Avoid Toxins. Exposure to pesticides, lead and other toxins can affect sperm quantity and quality. If you must work with toxins, do so safely. For example, wear protective clothing and equipment, and avoid skin contact with chemicals.
Be calm. Increased scrotal temperature can hamper sperm production. Although the benefits have not been fully proven, wearing loose-fitting underwear, reducing the time you spend sitting, avoiding saunas and hot tubs, and limiting scrotum exposure to warm objects, such as a laptop, might enhance sperm quality.
- Avoiding sexually transmitted diseases
- Avoiding illicit drugs
- Avoiding radiation when possible
- Avoiding exposure to toxic substances
- Avoiding heavy or frequent use of alcohol
- Observing good personal hygiene and health practices
- Avoiding long, hot baths, hot tubs or saunas
- Wearing loose-fitting underwear
Prevention is better than cure is an adage that many of us like to repeat. In this case, it should not just be a mere nice statement but one that we must practice in order to improve our fertility and also prevent anything that could harm it.
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