Causes of Infertility
Impaired fecundity has been in a constant rise due to the changing lifestyle in countries. A study showed that precisely 20% -40% of the infertility cases worldwide is contributed by a ‘male factor’, among which about 10% of those is due to the minimal sperm or zero sperm count parameters.
What are the global facts and figures in estimating the prevalence of infertility among couples?
It has been estimated that about 60-80 million couples experience infertility every day. This amounts to 12.4% of the entire world population. Nearly 10% of the population in the United States & 50% of the population in India have experience this problem at least once in their lifetime.
Some of the common causes of infertility in males
1. Inadequate sperm production due to :
- Chromosomal or genetic causes
- Undescended testes (failure of the testes to descend at birth)
- Torsion(twisting of the testes in scrotum)
- Varicocele (varicose veins in the testes)
- Medicines and chemicals
- Radiation damage
- Unknown cause
2. Other problems and its causes:
|Blockage of sperm transport||• Infections
• Prostate-related problems
• Absence of vas deferens
|Hormonal problems||• Pituitary tumours
• Congenital lack of LH/FSH (pituitary problems from birth)
• Anabolic (androgenic) steroid abuse
|Sperm antibodies||• Vasectomy
• Injury or infection in the epididymis
• Unknown cause
|Sexual problems (erection and ejaculatory problems)||• Retrograde or premature ejaculation
• Failure of ejaculation
• Erectile dysfunction
• Infrequent intercourse
• Spinal cord injury
• Prostate surgery
• Damage to nerves
• Some medicines
What are the steps one can take for maintaining sperm health?
The various steps for increasing sperm production that aid in the prevention of infertility in males are:
1) Having an adequate sleep:
The sperm takes around 72 hours for complete development. Hormonal regulations are better if adequate and regular patterned sleep can be maintained.
2) Maintaining a proper diet for infertility:
Having a proper diet consisting of walnuts, eggs, bananas, asparagus, pomegranates, red meat or beans regularly leads to an increase in the overall sperm count.
3) Exercising regularly:
Doing exercises benefits the maintaining good androgen receptors and hence may influence the sperm production and the quality of the sperms being produced.
What are the symptoms that signal that one needs to watch out for?
- Experiencing erectile dysfunction or having a lower volume of fluid being ejaculated.
- Testicular pain
- Developing what is popularly known as “male boobs”, due to abnormal breast growth.
- The decrease in facial or body hair
- Complications during the postoperative phase due to the surgery of the sexual organs like groin testicle, penis or scrotum.
- Infections of testicles with tuberculosis, mumps or bacterial infections causing epididymorochitis
What are the major things one could include in their diet that helps in improving fertility in males?
- Zinc (oysters, red meat or poultry)
- Folate (green leafy vegetables like spinach, whole grains and peas)
- Vitamin B-12 (fish, meat and poultry)
- Vitamin C (citrus fruits, sweet peppers, kiwi & strawberries)
- Vitamin D (sunlight, salmon, beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms)
- Vitamin E (corn, safflower and soybean oil)
- Herbal supplements (like Fenugreek seed, Ashwagandha root, Maca root)
- D-aspartic acid (oat bran, rice fresh & dried fruits)
- Selenium is also helpful(Beans, legumes, meat and fish
In nut shell a complete meal be it veg or non veg will provide all the ingredients necessary for good health, and hence it might help in good reproductive health of the individual. I do hope the reader learns all about male infertility from this article. However, it is advised that they consult a physician if they happen to experience any sort of complications.