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Causes of Male Infertility


Male Infertility

Male fertility is a very complex topic. There are several things that have to occur in order for the male to get his partner pregnant. First of all, they must product healthy sperm. Once the sperm are produced they have to be transported from the testicles in the semen. There also has to be enough sperm contained in the semen. The lower the sperm count the less likely your partner’s egg will become fertilized. The sperm also must be shaped correctly in order for the sperm to move and penetrate the egg. Male infertility can have many different causes including environmental, medical and lifestyle causes. Any questions or concerns should be addressed to a qualified NJ male fertility specialist.

Environmental Causes

Certain environmental elements like toxins, chemicals or heat can cause male infertility especially when there is overexposure to these elements. Industrial chemicals like herbicides, toluene, pesticides, xylene, lead and some painting materials can cause low sperm counts. Radiation can temporarily reduce sperm counts but exposure to high amounts of radiation can permanently reduce sperm production. Overheating of the testicles such as using hot tubs or saunas frequently can lower sperm count. Tight clothing including underclothing can increase temperatures in the area and sitting with a laptop on the lap for long periods of time can increase the temperature of the scrotum and reduce sperm production.

Lifestyle Habits Affecting Male Fertility

Using anabolic steroids can shrink testicles and reduce sperm production. Alcohol consumption can reduce testosterone levels, decrease sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction. Smoking can cause men to have lower sperm counts and even secondhand smoke might affect male fertility. Obesity can cause various changes to the male’s hormones which can reduce fertility. Some occupations can increase the risk of male infertility. Those positions which demand extended hours of computer or video display monitors, work related stress and shift work can all play a role in infertility. Even stress can interfere with the body’s ability to create sperm. Long term or severe stress can affect a male’s sperm count. Prolonged bicycling has been known to cause infertility in some men. This is because the testicles can become overheated during riding. The seat also puts undue and constant pressure on the area just behind the testicles which can cause erectile dysfunction.

Medical Causes of Infertility

There can be quite a few medical issues that contribute to infertility. An infection can interfere with the body’s ability to produce sperm and sometimes taking antibiotics for infections can contribute to the problem. Anti-bodies can sometimes mistake sperm as an invader and try to eliminate them which can reduce the sperm count. Hormone imbalances can sometimes cause abnormalities with the testicles which can cause infertility.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder which is caused by being sensitive to gluten and is known to cause male infertility. Specific problems within the testicles can also be an influencing factor. Varicocele is the swelling of veins which drain the testicles. When this swelling occurs, the testicles may not be able to cool properly which can lead to fewer moving sperm and a lower sperm count. Tumors or cancers can directly affect the male reproductive organs. Treatment methods for these conditions such as radiation or chemotherapy can affect male fertility. Defects in sperm ducts or chromosomes can affect fertility. IF sperm ducts become blocked in any way transporting the sperm out of the testicles can be hampered. Chromosome defects can cause the male reproductive organs to develop abnormally. For instance, Klinefelter’s syndrome occurs when a male has 2 X chromosomes and 1 Y chromosome instead of one of each. This abnormality can cause male infertility. Kallmann’s syndrome, Kartagener syndrome, Young’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis can all be associated with infertility issues.

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