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Most Common Causes of Male Infertility – How common is Infertility in men?

Male infertility refers to a male’s inability to get his wife pregnant with intercourse. Male infertility is caused due to low sperm count, premature ejaculation, sexually transmitted diseases, hormone imbalance, chromosomal defects, and problems with sexual intercourse. There are specific male infertility treatments such as IUI, IVF, and ICSI procedures.

Male infertility is a condition in which a man does not have sufficient levels of fertility, which ultimately leads to the lack of occurrence of positive pregnancy in the female partner. It is essential to know that male infertility is one of the primary reasons for a couple to opt for infertility treatments such as IVF, IUI, ICSI or TESA. If a male partner does not have an optimum sperm count, motility and morphology, then he is considered to have low fertility levels. 40% of the cases in which couples are not able to have their babies are due to male infertility only. Like every medical condition and disorder, male infertility also has a set of causes, which one must know to avoid whenever possible. Here are 16 major causes of male infertility, which lead to an increase in the cases of infertility in males.

1. Alcohol consumption and smoking

Alcohol consumption and smoking lead to a tremendous decrease in the fertility levels of males. It is usually thought that alcohol consumption does not have any negative impact on the overall health of men. But this is just a myth. In the latest research, it has been proven that alcohol and smoking have a negative effect on reproductive health and fertility levels in individuals. It is essential that one stops smoking or gradually reduces the frequency of smoking to restore fertility.

2. Emotional Stress

Stress is an inevitable part of the most of individuals’ life, which leads to different types of health issues from time to time. You will be surprised to know that stress leads to a reduction in the quality and number of sperm count in an individual. It also leads to a lower percentage of normal sperm morphology. When a man is under stress, the levels of cortisol hormone increase, which ultimately leads to the reduction in the production of testosterone hormone, a hormone necessary for sperm production. Although stress is unavoidable, you need to know that stress levels need to be controlled with the implementation of the proper steps and actions if you want to avoid the occurrence of male infertility.

3. Obesity

Excessive weight or obesity is a condition in which there is an unwanted accumulation of fats in the body of a human being. One needs to understand that being overweight not only has a profound impact on the overall well-being of the individual but also compromises male fertility levels in the body. It is found that sperm quality and health are poor in men who are overweight. Due to weight issues, the man finds it difficult to ejaculate properly. In this way, males who are obese or overweight face a lot of difficulties in having their kids.

4. Illicit Drug usage and consumption

A number of individuals are opting for steroids and medications to achieve an optimum level of fitness. Fitness freaks use an anabolic steroid to stimulate muscle growth and improve the strength of the body. These steroids lead to the shrinkage of testicles, and there is a significant decrease in sperm production. Also, when an individual consumes cocaine or marijuana, then there is a significant effect on sperm quality and numbers as well. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid illicit drug use as it can affect your testosterone levels in the body.

5. Chemical and heavy metal exposures

We live in an environment where different types of pollutants are present. These pollutants reach us and enter our bodies via food, consumer and industrial waste, and toxic chemicals such as toluene, benzene, xylene, pesticides, herbicides, and painting materials. It is important to know that these chemicals and heavy metal exposure affect our bodies in two major ways.

First of all, heavy metals get deposited in the most critical parts of the body, which include the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys, along with other parts of the body.

These chemicals and heavy metal exposure lead to the displacement of essential nutrients present in the body.

As these components stay in our environment through bioaccumulation, we cannot completely avoid them, but we can take the right precautions to prevent the harmful effects of these chemicals.

6. Overheating the testicles

Testicles are one of the essential parts of a man’s reproductive system. Testicles need to be at a temperature of 4 degrees less than the average body temperature. Men are constantly in touch with different elements and resources that lead to an increase in the temperature of testicles. Some of the environmental causes include cooking, grilling, hot tubs, saunas, laptops, smartphones, tight-fitting clothing and cycling excessively. So, one must keep a balance when coming in contact with the above environmental factors to prevent any kind of negative effects on the body.

7. Varicocele

Varicocele is the enlargement of veins in the scrotum. It leads to the increased temperature of the scrotum (skin portion containing testicles) of a man. Varicocele affects the quality of sperm in a negative manner. With every 1 degree of temperature elevation in the sperms and testis, there is up to 40% reduction of the sperm count. Also, around 40% of men are affected by varicocele. The best part is that varicocele is one of the most common causes, which can be reversed as well.

8. Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

There are different types of infections, which lead to increased chances of infertility in males. Some of these infections include STD’s, Chlamydia and Human Papilloma

Virus infections. These infections have a major negative effect on the reproductive health of men. Some of the infections like Chlamydia can also lead to permanent infertility in

men. Therefore, one must make sure to get them diagnosed and treated at the right time to avoid any severe consequences in the near future.

9. Ejaculation Issues

Ejaculation is the semen discharge from the penis after intercourse, which is followed by male orgasm. Ejaculatory issues are quite common in men, which needs to be diagnosed and treated at the right time to avoid piling up of problems in mental health as well as the overall health of the man. There are different health conditions which lead to ejaculatory disorders. This includes diabetes mellitus, excessive intake of medication, spinal

injuries, surgeries of bladder, urethra or even prostate.

10. Tumors

Cancers and tumors can sometimes affect the male reproductive organs directly. Prostate cancer is one of the common types of cancer seen in males these days. Cancer

in prostate stops the functioning of the prostate gland and the man suffering from it starts to have fertility problems. In some cases where cancer has already advanced to the last stage, various treatments are suggested to the patients such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat tumors, which can permanently damage the male fertility.

11. Undescended testicles

During fetal development, one or both the testicles fail to incline from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains the testicles. Such males can have fertility problems when they grow up. Undescended testicles can be due to a birth defect, premature birth or genetic defect.

TESA helps the couples to have a baby even when the male is suffering from NIL sperm count. Learn more about TESA, What is TESA (Testicular Epididymal Sperm Aspiration)?

12. Hormone imbalance

Hormonal imbalance and male infertility are closely associated with each other. Hormonal imbalance accounts for 10% of the total cases of male infertility. In the case of hormonal imbalance, the man suffers from low libido, abnormal hair growth along with erectile dysfunction.

13. Defects of tubules that transport sperm

Tubes carrying the sperms such as vas deferens can be blocked due to various causes, including injury from surgery, prior infections, and abnormal development, with cystic fibrosis or similar inherited conditions.

14. Chromosomal defects

Inherited disorders can also cause abnormal development of male reproductive organs. In some men, there is a presence of one extra X chromosome. This leads to chromosomal defects in men, which ultimately leads to abnormality in the chromosomes involved in the functioning and development of male reproductive organs.

15. Problems with Sexual Intercourse

Males having ejaculatory disorders and erectile dysfunction find it hard to have sexual intercourse, which ultimately leads to infertility. They might be suffering from problems such as trouble keeping or sustaining an erection sufficient for performing intercourse, painful intercourse, premature ejaculation, anatomical abnormalities or low sex libido.

16. Certain medications

Some medications including testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, ulcer drugs can lead to fertility damage unknowingly. Excessive intake of medications will lead to reduced quality of sperm production, thus decreasing male fertility levels. It is always advised to consult a doctor or an expert before starting any supplement or medicine.