Our team helps patients overcome the many male infertility causes
Did you know men and women contribute equally to infertility struggles? Men, women and unknown causes each account for about a third of the challenges faced by 1 in 8 American couples. Fertility Specialists of Texas works with men and women to make the dream of parenthood possible. Our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors believe that education is one way to help achieve this goal. Here we explain some common male infertility causes.
Lifestyle factors can lead to male fertility issues
A high body mass index (BMI) when trying to conceive is not just a concern for women. Being overweight can also create stumbling blocks for men as well. Men who are overweight or obese may have lower sperm counts or may have no sperm at all in their ejaculate. Excessive weight can also create reduce testosterone levels, decrease libido and make it difficult to maintain an erection.
Recent studies have shown that smoking can have a substantial impact on the reproductive system. Men who smoke have been found to have a lower sperm count, reduced motility (the sperm’s ability to swim to the egg) and poor morphology (the shape of the sperm). Additionally, smoking has been linked to decreased success rates with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Alcohol is another one of the male infertility causes. It can reduce a couple’s ability to successfully conceive without medical intervention. A man who drinks more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day may have:
- Lower testosterone levels
- poor quality sperm
- A reduction in sperm count
- A diminished libido
While studies are inconclusive, extended exposure to heat can temporarily impair sperm production, sperm count and overall function. Men who are trying to conceive should limit their use of saunas, hot tubs, whirlpools and baths. Additionally, men should avoid sitting for extended periods of time, wearing tight clothing and using a laptop as these can increase the temperature in the scrotum.
Sperm abnormalities account for some male infertility causes
Male-factor infertility accounts for about 30% of all infertility issues. Abnormalities with sperm, like shape, motility and quantity, are common. This is why a semen analysis is a vital part of any fertility evaluation. While abnormal analysis results don’t always equate to a fertility issue, certain conditions can make natural conception more difficult.
- Sertoli cell only syndrome is a complete absence of sperm progenitor cells and an absence of spermatogenesis.
- Azoospermia is an absence of sperm.
- Asthenozoospermia is reduced sperm motility.
- Oligozoospermia is decreased sperm count.
- Necrozoospermia refers to immobile or dead sperm.
- Teratozoospermia is an abnormal sperm shape (morphology).
- Globozoospermia is a specific abnormality in the shape that prevents fertilization.
- OAT syndrome (oligoasthenozoospermia) is a combination of low count, motility and morphology.
Sexual dysfunction can also cause issues
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) defines sexual dysfunction as a problem that occurs with the desire to have sex, arousal or orgasm. Both men and women can experience challenges in any of these areas. There are many factors that can contribute to sexual dysfunction, including side effects from medication, elevated blood pressure, depression, hormonal imbalance, injury or prior surgeries.
The most common sexual problem for men is erectile dysfunction. This is the inability to either get or maintain an erection. When a couple has been actively trying to conceive, the pressure for the male partner to perform on demand can contribute to erectile issues.
As male-factor infertility accounts for 30% of all infertility issues, it’s important for men to maintain an open, honest dialogue with his fertility specialist about any performance challenges.
Other male sexual problems can include the following issues.
- Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection.
- Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder rather than out through the urethra.
- Anejaculation is the inability to ejaculate.
- Premature ejaculation refers to uncontrolled ejaculation resulting from minimal sexual stimulation.
- Low libido is the diminished or complete lack of desire to have sex.
Contact us to learn more about male infertility and how our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility center treats it.