Below, we’re investigating some of the causes of male infertility, and how men might be able to increase their chances of having a child.
Clinically speaking, male infertility applies to males who can’t get pregnant after a year of having intercourse with a woman without birth control. In today’s society, it’s often women who are at the centre of the infertility discussion and debate.
Yet it’s thought that 30% of fertility issues are down to issues with the male, 30% down to the female and the outstanding 40% are down to a combination of factors, or remain unexplained.
Low sperm count is defined as having less than 15 million per millilitre of semen – for context, the average is around 75 million per millilitre.
Lifestyle choices like alcohol, smoking and diet can have a profound impact on sperm count, and seeking to change this will dramatically increase your chances of fathering a child.
Issues such as varicose that change the temperature of your testicles can also be a factor, as well as hormone imbalances.
Quality of sperm
Much of the time, the reason for abnormal sperm goes unexplained, but research suggests that it’s an issue with mobility that prevents them from reaching an egg.
The quality of sperm can be checked with a sperm analysis test, and this can be performed at home.
The role of the testicles is to protect and house sperm from the outside environment. When they become damaged, unsurprisingly this can go on to affect both sperm quality and quantity. As we alluded to above, the temperature is a big factor; keeping your testicles cool is essential as this ensures they stay at an optimum heat level to keep sperm healthy.
Avoid sitting for extended periods of time and don’t wear overly tight clothing. Other causes of testicular damage can arise from surgery, infection or from trauma, such as from a sports injury.
Ejaculation is responsible for projecting sperm so that it reaches an egg, and when this function is working at insufficient capacity, it’s very unlikely a man will impregnate a woman.
There are 4 types of ejaculation disorders which are:
Retrograde ejaculation: when semen enters the bladder instead of leaving the body through the penis.
Premature ejaculation: when semen are ejaculated too early. This doesn’t affect fertility.
Failure of ejaculation & retarded ejaculation: without any ejaculation, it’s impossible to father a child. As men age, failure of ejaculation becomes more common, particularly because it becomes more difficult to get an erection. However, this can be made easier with the use of pills like Sildenafil, which facilitate getting an erection, making ejaculation more likely at the end of intercourse.
Failure of ejaculation can also be down to psychological stress, and addressing the root cause of this could be the key to unlocking a better chance of ejaculation. Persistent retarded ejaculation isn’t a cause of infertility but can cause psychological stress that may have a knock-on effect on sperm, because of associated stress.
If you need advice on how to boost your fertility or need some answers, you should see your GP, who can rule out certain conditions and offer you the support you need.