Male Infertility Causes

September 24, 2008

Who's to blame? A couple is trying to conceive and finds themselves in a frustrated quandary because, try as they might, they still don't have a baby. There can be any number of issues related to the inability to conceive. If, after one year of effort to conceive fails to produce a pregnancy, the couple could be termed infertile and various opportunities to explore the reasons and options come into play in order to make three out of two.

The Infertility Possibilities Seem Endless

There is a wide variety of possible causes of male infertility which can be broken down into three basic categories: abnormal sperm production or function, impaired delivery of sperm, and general health, lifestyle and environmental issues.

Something Isn't Right Here: Male Infertility

Most frequently male infertility is due to problems with sperm such as impaired shape and movement. If the shape and structure of the sperm are abnormal or motility (movement) is impaired, it may be impossible for the sperm to reach or penetrate the egg. Low sperm concentration can be caused by many different things and in some cases can be addressed by simple lifestyle changes. Varicocele - a varicose vein in the scrotum - may prevent the testes from cooling normally which in turn leads to reduced sperm count and motility. In some cases, one or both testicles have not dropped from the abdomen which means they are exposed to higher body temperature. This may affect sperm production. Hormonal malfunction or testosterone deficiency can result in infertility as can genetic defects such as Klinefelter's syndrome in which a man has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y. The result is low or absent sperm production and low testosterone. Infections can greatly affect the sperm count and motility - especially infections of sexually transmitted diseases which cause scarring, blockages and inflammation.

The Delivery Guy Isn't Doing His Job: Sperm Problems

Problems with sperm delivery may also cause infertility and these problems may be generated by such things as sexual issues involving technique, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or psychological issues around the relationship. Using lubricants, such as petroleum jelly or oils, which can be toxic to sperm, can impair fertility. Retrograde ejaculation, when the semen enters the bladder during orgasm rather than leaving the penis, can be caused by various conditions such as diabetes, bladder, prostate or urethral surgery and also the use of certain medications. Blocked ducts and misplaced urinary opening, both of which occur at birth, require surgical correction and can render a man infertile.

How's Life? Environmental Factors on Infertility

Under the heading of general health and environmental issues, the common causes of infertility in men can be found in emotional stress which hinders the production of hormones necessary for reproduction. Improper or unhealthy diet, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiency all affect the production and motility of sperm. Being obese or underweight may also be associated with fertility problems. Alcohol, drugs and smoking are well-known hindrances to fertility and medications used to deal with certain diseases as well as the conditions themselves are known to cause infertility in men.

 

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