Male sperm cells. 3D illustration
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Male fertility problems: top five facts

By David Joshua Jennings May 13, 06:00 am
For those who still think of fertility as a woman's issue, think again: a third of all infertility cases are due to problems with the man.

There are many potential causes for male infertility and many factors behind the causes. Let Love Matters help you straighten out the facts.

It’s all about the sperm

In terms of numbers, a man’s role in fertilisation is monumental. Some 200-300 million sperm are released each time a man ejaculates, though only around 40 usually make it close to the egg. Most sperms are unsuccessful because of the hostile acidity of the vagina or because they swim down the wrong tube. Now, just one lone sperm is needed for conception. Because of the immense effort necessary to reach and penetrate the egg, if a man has a fertility problem, it usually means he has a sperm problem. This can include a low sperm count, low semen volume, low sperm movement or abnormally shaped sperm.

What else causes infertility?

Besides sperm and semen problems, these are other common causes of infertility: inflamed testes, problems with the sperm-delivering tubes, genetic disorders, environmental toxins, radiation, hormonal problems, diabetes, obesity, STDs, stress. Additionally, other sexual health issues like an erection problem or retrograde ejaculation can hamper a man’s fertility before the game even gets started. There are also a number of general medical disorders – such as a high fever, high blood pressure, and cancer – that may reduce fertility. If you and your partner find yourselves unable to conceive after having tried for over a year, visit your doctor to find out the cause.

Healthy lifestyle = increased fertility

There are loads of complicated procedures that cure men of their fertility problems, but before it comes to that, it’s better to make some basic lifestyle changes to increase your odds of successfully conceiving. Basically, having a healthy lifestyle is the best you can do to increase your fertility. As a first step, you should stop drinking, stub out that cigarette butt and stop indulging in marijuana. These activities have been linked to low sperm counts and abnormally-developed sperm. You should also keep in shape – not too overweight and not too underweight, because both can lead to problems. Besides that, keep your body stocked up with plenty of vitamins with a healthy diet.

How age affects fertility

Although the quality and quantity of a man’s sperm usually begins to go down after he turns 40, men in their 90’s still manage to have children! The problem is mostly because of damage caused by the free radicals that are produced as a result of metabolism. They play a significant role in ageing and tissue damage. The good news? Such free radical damage can be reduced by how you live. Habits that will increase the number of free radicals in your system include smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs and eating processed food. Remember: A healthy lifestyle = increased fertility.

Modern ways of living affect fertility

Heat from a laptop on the lap can raise the temperature of the scrotum enough to damage sperm. And if your modern diet has led you into obesity, you can assume the quality and quantity of your sperm has decreased in relation to the size of your belly. If you’re trying to conceive, hot tubs and saunas are a bad idea. The immense heat of these luxuries can kill sperm inside your testicles or disable them when it comes to swimming. However, the damage only affects sperm that’s currently in the testes, so once conception is successful you can return to your normal routine without worrying about long-term harm. But one of the biggest enemies of sperm is stress. Stress can lead to impotence, erectile dysfunction and even shut down the glands that develop and regulate your reproductive system. If life in the modern age has left us too stressed out to produce healthy sperm, it may be time to reconsider the way we live!

 

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