Causes of Infertility
Infertility is a sensitive topic to discuss. Indeed. Most people, if not all, believe that it affects only a handful of the population. However, numerous studies show that 15 to 20 per cent of people of reproductive age suffer from a degree of infertility.
If we further analyze the statistics, 40%b of the cases involved female infertility factor, while surprisingly, male infertility recorded was 30-40 per cent.
Hence, it is essential for both the partners to consider themselves when discussing treatment. The diagnosis of male infertility is far more difficult than the women as women infertility offers more visible and observable symptoms than those due to their effects on menstruation. However, there are some signs that may suggest that male infertility is the problem.
Pain or Swelling in the Testicles
You can experience pain in any particular spot or a more generalized region. There are many different reasons for the pain and swelling in the testicular region. No matter what the issue is, seeking medical attention is cardinal. The most common causes of testicular pain and swelling include:
Epididymitis (Testicle infection):
Epididymitis is an infection that develops from bacterial infection. It can trigger at any age. This can lead to penile discharge, fever, and blood in the urine. The epididymis present on the rear side of each testicle can become inflamed and lead to testicles swelling.
It is a condition where the testicle is twisted inside the scrotum. This can interrupt the flow of blood to the testicle. Without the flow of blood, the testis can experience tissue failure.
A hernia can be one of the reasons for the pain and swelling in the testicular region. If left untreated, this can damage vas deferens (the tube through which sperm travels) of a man.
A hydrocele is a condition that results due to the formation of fluid around the testicle. This fluid may form due to the injury or inflammation to the scrotum. This condition does not lead to infertility but needs medical attention to avoid severe conditions further.
This is a condition that affects 40 out of 100 men. They are veins that become enlarged in the scrotum. Usually, surgery is recommended for this to improve the male fertility factor.
According to a study, 20 to 25 per cent of couples struggling with infertility experience sexual dysfunction. This can also be a result of hormonal imbalance. Moreover, other causes of erectile dysfunction include:
An erection occurs when nerves signal the blood vessels to push blood into the penis. This issue arises due to the medications or conditions such as arteriosclerosis, diabetes, and a spinal cord injury.
In this condition, the veins that usually compress during erection fail to do so causing the construction to go away or not last long. This occurs due when there is a severe injury.
In most cases, erectile dysfunction is a result of guilt feelings associated with sex, anxiety, depression, and stress.
If left untreated, it can lead to more severe internal complications. Hence, it is essential to approach the issue by considering the following steps:
- Quit smoking
- Switch the medications
- Consider counselling
- Adjusting to a healthier diet and exercising more
- Speaking to a doctor about other possible causes
- Don’t use recreational drugs
Altered Sexual Desire
If you are experiencing changes in potency, it may be an indication of an issue related to the male hormonal health which is linked to specific causes of infertility.
Common causes of hormonal problems include:
Congenital lack of LH or FSH:
1 to 2 per cent of male infertility is affected by male hypogonadism or fundamental lack of LH or FSH. It may be congenital or acquired from drugs, ageing, disease, or other factors.
These tumours are functional because they do not spread to other parts of the body. The reproductive problems can arise from them, like most of the current symptoms of androgen deficiency and even infertility.
Anabolic steroid abuse:
Abusive steroids can also lead to male infertility. However, fertility can get back to normal if you stop taking gonadotropin and androgen injections. Moreover, it is essential to understand that many medications or drugs can alter hormonal health of a man and should be considered only under the guidance of medical professionals.
Small, Firm Testicles
The quality and health of the male sperm mostly depend on the condition of the testicles. The size of the testicles is not a question, but what is occurring in the testes is crucial to keep it healthy and lasting. A fertility specialist can examine the health of the testes and ensure whether they can function successfully and properly during sexual reproduction.
Issues with Ejaculation and Sperm Health
If you are experiencing difficulties in ejaculating, then it can be a sign involving the production of sperm or other physical dysfunctions. If there’s no ability to produce healthy sperm:
- There may not be enough sperm within the semen
- The sperm may not be transferred to the semen and continues to flow from the penis
- The sperm may not be able to travel well and enter into the woman’s egg
Problems associated with sperm production include:
When testes fail to descend at the time of birth, it can cause male infertility and ultimately lead to hernias, torsion, and testicular cancer.
Chromosomal or genetic causes:
From birth, there is a chance that chromosomes may not be encoded correctly. For example, a man may be born with the wrong amount or a combination of chromosomes. Any number of genetic problems can affect fertility and should be addressed.
High exposure to radiation can affect the production of sperm but often returns to normal. However, high doses of radiation can lead to permanent infertility issue
Medicines and Chemicals:
Some drugs contribute to permanent infertility. Drugs such as chemotherapy agents, calcium channel blockers, antibiotics, etc can also cause infertility in male, lowering the sperm count.
Blockage of sperm transport can be the cause of:
- Prostate-related problems
- Absence of vas deferens
Seeking Fertility Treatment for Men
Even after trying for a year, if you and your partner are unable to get pregnant, then it’s time to consult a fertility specialist. Also, if you have not noticed any signs or symptoms indicating infertility, you should talk to a specialist.