Male infertility – Why We Choose To Ignore It

How many times have we had to blame women for infertility? There are many times, however, when it’s not the woman’s fault, it’s the man’s fault. What do we do about it? We choose to ignore it, thinking that that can’t be true, that men can never be infertile. But let’s face the bitter fact that it’s 50-50 and this means there are 50% chances that it’s not the woman, but the man who is infertile. To back up this theory, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Approximately 15 per cent of couples are infertile. This means they aren’t able to conceive a child even though they’ve had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In about half of these couples, male infertility plays a role.

The Causes Of Male Infertility

An infertile man does not reveal any symptoms of infertility and it is difficult to say whether a man is fertile or not because intercourse, erections and ejaculation happen without any discomfort. Also, the quantity and appearance of semen would also look normal to the naked eye. Therefore, it’s only through tests that a male will be able to find out whether he is fertile or not. Nevertheless, the most common causes of male infertility are:

Problems In Sperm Production

The testes produce the sperm so if there’s a problem in the production it can lead to male infertility. Sometimes there’s either some problem in the production of sperms or the sperms produced are not of optimum quality. The bitter fact is that at least, if not more than, ⅔ of infertile men suffer from poor sperm production.

Poor Sperm Transportation

There’s something medical professionals call a blockage, which is referred to as obstructions in the tubes that transport the sperms to the penis. If there’s a blockage, during ejaculation there will be a complete lack of quality sperm causing infertility. Poor sperm transportation due to blockage is the second most common cause of male infertility and approximately one in every five men experience this.

Sperm Antibodies

About one in every 16 infertile men suffers from sperm antibodies and this means that some substance within the semen or blood develop to prevent egg binding and sperm movement.

Hormonal Problems

Hormonal problems can give rise to low testosterone levels which in turn leads to failure of the testes to product quality sperm. Although hormonal problems aren’t yet fully understood by scientists it is understood that when the pituitary gland fails to send the right hormonal message to the testes, hormonal problems arise.

Reasons Behind The Causes of Infertility

Sperm production problems

  • Chromosomal or genetic causes
  • Undescended testes (failure of the testes to descend at birth)
  • Infections
  • Torsion (twisting of the testis in scrotum)
  • Varicocele (varicose veins of the testes)
  • Medicines and chemicals
  • Radiation damage
  • Unknown cause

Blockage of sperm transport

  • Infections
  • Prostate related problems
  • Absence of vas deferens
  • Vasectomy

Sperm antibodies

  • Vasectomy
  • Injury or infection in the epididymis
  • Unknown cause

Sexual problems (erection and ejaculation problems)

  • Retrograde and premature ejaculation
  • Failure of ejaculation
  • Infrequent intercourse
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Prostate surgery
  • Damage to nerves
  • Some medicines

Hormonal problems

  • Pituitary tumours
  • Congenital lack of LH/FSH (pituitary problem from birth)
  • Anabolic (androgenic) steroid abuse

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