Research shows that roughly 10 percent of couples experience infertility issues at some point, with male infertility contributing to 50 percent of fertility problems.
Male Infertility may be the sole reason that a couple can't conceive, or it may simply add to the difficulties experienced.
Male infertility occurs due to many different factors including hormonal imbalances, physical problems, psychological or behavioural problems.
The biggest cause of infertility in men is abnormal sperm, which can be affected by lifestyle factors. Men who live a healthy lifestyle are more likely to produce healthy sperm and less likely to have infertility issues.
Changing certain lifestyle and health behaviours can improve a man’s fertility and increase the chances for a couple is trying to get pregnant.
Excessive smoking has shown to decrease sperm count significantly. Male smokers have approximately 30% higher odds of infertility. Smoking tobacco increases intake of cadmium, because the tobacco plant absorbs the metal. Cadmium, being chemically similar to zinc, may replace zinc in the DNA polymerase, which plays a critical role in sperm production. Zinc replaced by cadmium in DNA polymerase can be particularly damaging to the testes.
Prolonged use drugs may temporarily reduce the number and quality of your sperm.
Chronic alcohol abuse can lower testosterone levels, cause erectile dysfunction and decrease sperm production and testosterone levels. Liver disease caused by excessive drinking also may lead to fertility problems.
Heat can be the cause of infertility. Working in a hot environment has been linked to raised testicle temperature. This may affect sperm's ability to mature, leading to poorer sperm quality and a temporary drop in sperm production.
Tight underwear increases scrotal temperature which results in decreased sperm production.
Excessive stress can interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Severe or prolonged emotional stress, including problems with fertility, can affect your sperm count.
Medications that affect spermatogenesis such as chemotherapy, anabolic steroids, cimetidine, spironolactone; as well as medication that decrease sperm motility such as sulfasalazine and nitrofurantoin, should be avoided.
Anabolic steroid use causes testicular shrinkage and sperm production to decrease.
Obesity can cause hormone changes that reduce male fertility. Being overweight may lower the quality and quantity of your sperm. The effect is greater in men who have a BMI of 30 or higher.
Prolonged bicycling is another possible cause of reduced fertility due to overheating the testicles. Men who are serious cyclists may have lowered sperm counts, poorer sperm quality and less mobile sperm. In some cases, bicycle seat pressure on the area behind the testicles can cause numbness in the penis and erectile dysfunction.
Have you ever had your fertility checked?
Disclaimer: If you're concerned about your fertility, always consult your doctor.
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