Infertility is clinically defined as both genders (male and female) who cannot achieve pregnancy after 1 year of having intercourse without using birth control. Studies indicate that overall one third of infertility stimulated by male reproductive issues, one-third infertility caused by female reproductive issues and other one-third by both genders reproductive issues or by unknown factors. Usually people assume that issue is related to females only. But research has found that infertile problem is equally related to males as well. Therefore, it is essential that when after trying to conceive for one year or more, couples should get the infertility tests done. There are many causes of infertility in both and many of them can be rectified as well if proper precautions are taken. However, to conceive a child, a man’s sperm should be aggregate with a woman’s egg. The testicles (Males reproductive glands which develop spermatozoa and secret androgens.) that build and store sperm are blurted by the penis to deliver sperm to the female reproductive tract during sexual intercourse. In fact, the most common issue that contribute to infertility in men is totally depends on how the testicles work. In around 50% cases even the cause of male infertility is also not determined. If the man does not look interested in sex due to tiredness, stress or different mood factors can also be considered as a sign of infertility.
CAUSES OF INFERTILITY IN MEN
I. Hormonal causes:-
It ensures the presence of abnormally high levels of prolactin in the blood. Prolactin is one kind of peptide hormone. Elevation of prolactin level reduces sperm production and lead to infertility. In case, mild elevation of this hormone level indicates no symptoms.
It is often called as underactive thyroid and it causes due to deficiency of iodine. Deficiency of iodine results in reducing thyroid hormone level which in turn consequently lowers the quality of semen. All this cycle in some cases disturbs libido. Other hormonal problems such as impotence, difficulty in varied sexual functions, changes in voice, blurred vision, muscle weakness, insomnia, less high or no testosterone and hair growth pattern are associated with male infertility.
II. Environmental causes:-
Studies have considerably found major influence of environment on the overall health and the fertility of men as well. Hence, it becomes essential factor to consider. Increased pollution, overexposure to industrial waste, toxic pesticides, increased temperature, radiation are risk factors that are also associated with male infertility.
Exposure to heavy metals: – Consistent exposure to lead or other heavy metals may lead to infertility.
Industrial waste: – Prolonged exposure to industrial chemicals such as organic solvents, painting material, benzene, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides lead to low sperm counts.
Radiation or X-rays:- Sustained exposure to radiations may diminish permanent sperm production.
Excessive heating to the testicles: – Frequent use of saunas and hot tubs temporarily reduces sperm count. Sitting for long, wearing tight clothes, working on laptop or computer for long period raises temperature in scrotum temporally and reduces sperm production. In addition, type of underwear you wear also makes lot of impact in male fertility.
III. Health factors:-
Problems with male infertility are related with number of health issues and medical treatments as well which are mentioned below:
Varicocele: – It increases temperature in the testes and affects sperm production.
Infection: – Sexually transmitted infection, inflammation of the prostate and inflamed testicles due to mumps these are some of the infection, which interfere with sperm production and result in blocking the passage of sperm.
Tumors: – Cancers and nonmalignant has a capacity to affect directly on the reproductive organs. Whereas, the surgery, radiation or chemotherapy that utilized to treat tumors can also result male infertility. Apart from that certain medications such as testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications, certain antifungal medications, ulcer drugs and other medications can reduces sperm production and may result in decreasing male fertility.
Celiac disease: – Incorporating diet rich in gluten may also cause to infertility in men. Gluten rich diet is the primary cause of celiac disease which in turn results in male infertility.
Other medical conditions:- Old age, sterility after vasectomy, milky and cloudy urine, decreased sexual health, low sperm motility rate, orgasms without semen, difficulty in erection are some the leading risk factors that contributes to male infertility. Various health disorders such as kidney disease, genital infections, autoimmune disorders, epididymitis, obesity, prostatitis and sickle cell anemia are major causes that result infertility in men.
High level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), uneven size of two testicles, difficulty in urination and ejaculation, abnormal sperm cells, pain and swelling in the testicles, premature ejaculation, and problem with sexual intercourse are some of the leading causes of male infertility.
IV. Physical causes:-
Alcohol: – Intake of alcohol can reduce testosterone level that can lead to erectile dysfunction and may also decrease sperm production. Besides that liver diseases that caused by excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to male infertility.
Drugs: – There are some recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana which may reduce the number and quality of sperm. Prolonged use of these drugs related with male infertility.
Diet: – Deficiency of vitamin C, zinc, non nutritious or unhealthy diet results in infertility in men.
Other physical problems such as prolonged emotional stress, extended use of computers, the habit of smoking, tobacco, obesity, prolonged cycling, inadequate sleep, lack of exercise are some of the physical problems that can lead to male infertility.