Infertility is a common issue affecting all genders. It can stem from many different causes and can impact anyone. In fact, it's believed that infertility in men may exist for around 40% of couples who are dealing with infertility. So what are the signs of male infertility, and what can be done about it?
Signs and Symptoms of Infertility in Men
The most significant symptom of infertility is not becoming pregnant. If a couple has been trying to conceive for a year or more without success, infertility could be the problem.
Men experiencing infertility may have physical symptoms, such as small, painful, or swollen testicles. In addition, some men may have difficulty keeping an erection or be unable to ejaculate. Others may go through changes in their sex drive. Male infertility could be related to any of these signs.
Potential Causes of Male Infertility
Many of the possible symptoms of infertility are linked to its causes. For example, there might be impaired sperm delivery to the uterus. This can occur because of structural anomalies in the reproductive system, such as an injury or blockage to the semen pathway. Premature ejaculation and some genetic conditions can also diminish or prevent normal sperm delivery.
Low sperm count, slow motility, and poor sperm quality are all potential causes of infertility in men. Enlarged veins in the testes, known as varicoceles, may promote lower sperm quality. Some chronic diseases, like diabetes, can negatively impact the amount of sperm produced, as well as certain sexually transmitted infections. Abnormal hormone levels, lifestyle, and environmental factors can also contribute to male infertility.
Who is at Risk of Male Infertility?
Anyone can experience infertility. However, some conditions may put someone at higher risk. These risk factors could include:
- Medical treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation
- Some medications, like anabolic steroids
- Repeated heat exposure to the reproductive organs (for example, frequent hot tub use)
- High exposure to chemicals or environmental toxins
- Smoking cigarettes or using alcohol or marijuana
- Medications for hair regrowth or to prevent/slow male pattern balding
- Certain chronic conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure
Testing for Male Infertility
Fortunately, testing is available for those coping with infertility. Dominion Fertility specializes in evaluating and treating a variety of possible causes. The first test for infertility in men is a semen analysis. This simple test screens for abnormalities in semen, and it can be done right in our office.
We look at several things, including sperm count, shape and movement, and the volume of semen in one ejaculation. We also measure the pH level of your semen since an abnormal pH level can harm sperm. Additionally, we evaluate your white blood cell count to see if an infection could be causing problems. If any abnormalities are found, we can recommend further testing to pursue the root cause of infertility. For instance, this may mean testing your hormone or prolactin levels.
Hope for Those Dealing with Infertility
Whatever your situation, there is hope if you're struggling with infertility. Many couples and individuals are able to grow a family with proper diagnosis and treatment, but a complete evaluation needs to be done on both partners. At. At Dominion Fertility, we offer cutting-edge technologies and a caring, comprehensive approach to providing a variety of treatment options. Call us today with questions or to schedule a consultation.