Although most people tend to think that infertility is caused by the female, male infertility is responsible for nearly 50% of the problem, and the causes of male infertility are as varied as they are for female fertility problems. The cause of male infertility lies in the sperm – whether viable sperm are available at all, whether those present are low in number (low sperm count), whether they are abnormally shaped, or whether they are able to move well enough (sperm motility). In order for a woman to become pregnant, healthy sperm must be able to reach the egg. While it may be difficult for a man to face that the infertility problem lies with him, there are ways to overcome most of the problems and hopefully allow for a pregnancy to develop.
A low sperm count is one of the leading causes of male infertility. A low sperm count is considered to be if the number of sperm in a sample is less that 20 million. Low sperm count can be caused by several things that are relatively easy to correct, among them overheated testicles. Sperm are actually quite delicate and very susceptible to high temperatures. The popularity of hot tubs has increased the chances of damage to sperm as has the interest in bicycling. Both of these subject the sperm to higher temperatures than will result in a healthy, normal sperm count. Tight clothing can do the same and even sitting or driving for long periods can lower the sperm count.
As obesity can result in a woman’s inability to get pregnant, being overweight can also be a cause of male infertility. Eating a healthy, normal diet, maintaining the correct weight, getting a moderate amount of exercise, and taking a good vitamin supplement can go a long way to preventing or curing male infertility.
The rise in drug use and alcohol abuse is also a cause of male infertility. It has been proven that smoking will reduce the number of sperm produced, and even breathing someone else’s smoke at work or in a restaurant, can have this affect. The use of alcohol will definitely have a negative impact on male fertility. As the liver is affected by alcohol, male fertility will drop. Alcohol use not only is a cause of male infertility because of its impact on the quality of sperm, but also because it lowers the level of testosterone in the man’s body. The basic ability to perform the sex act will also be hurt by drinking alcoholic beverages.
Several health factors are also causes of male infertility, and these must be treated before normal sperm can be produced. The prevalence of venereal diseases can cause infections that can block the tube through which sperm must pass, as well as lessening the ability to produce sperm at all. A bladder or urinary tract infection will also contribute to male infertility. These conditions should be treated with antibiotics as soon as possible, and blocked tubes may have to be cleared surgically.
There are many causes of male infertility, and many of them can be treated so that normal production of sperm will resume. Stopping the use of tobacco and alcohol, as well as not using recreational, illegal drugs can help. There are lifestyle changes that can help, too, such as foregoing bicycle riding and avoiding overly heated water, either in a hot tub or a regular bathtub, and avoiding stress. If these changes in habit do not help, such procedures as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization might be the answer.