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Male Infertility Causes

While some might think of infertility problems residing mostly with females, the truth is that the problem is split about equally between men and women. No blame should be attached to infertility. The important thing to do is to find out what is causing the trouble and seek a remedy.

The urge to have children is very strong. When a couple is trying without result for a baby, they should make sure that male infertility causes are not at the root of the problem.

A year without conception is generally considered to mean that medical help should be sought.

Main Causes of Male Infertility

The biggest cause of male infertility is a low sperm count. This can result not only from low sperm production, but also if there are any abnormalities or obstruction in the tubes leading from the testicles.

Low sperm count is often the result of lifestyle and environmental factors, and in most cases this is only a temporary situation as long as steps are taken to bring about a change.

Some of the most common causes of a low sperm count are:

  • Infections, especially those associated with STDs.
  • Heat is deadly to sperm, and the temperature of the testicles can be raised by riding a bicycle, wearing tight pants, using a hot tub, or keeping a laptop on the lap.
  • Certain medications, such as sulfa drugs, can act like a male birth control pill.
  • Weight problems, being either obese or very thin, will have an impact.
  • Recreational drugs such as cocaine and marijuana reduce sperm numbers.
  • Environmental chemicals and pollutants are responsible for lowering fertility in many developed countries.
  • If a man wants to increase his fertility, he should cut back on smoking and drinking.

All of the above causes of male infertility generally fall into the category of temporary low sperm count. However, there are sometimes causes that will demand more intensive medical help to overcome.

An undescended testicle or structural abnormality will often need surgical intervention to overcome. Imbalance in hormone levels can lead to male infertility as can a tumor. If the sperm ducts are absent completely, no sperm will be able to reach the female in any case.

Another cause of male infertility is simply aging. After age 40, it will become more difficult for the man to produce viable, mobile sperm.

Help to Prevent the Causes of Male Infertility

Of course, in some cases, it will be impossible to prevent male infertility. No man is unable to avoid some factors that could make it difficult for him to impregnate his partner.

Probably the most important thing any man can do is avoid contracting venereal diseases. There are now over 100 STDs in circulation, and many are now resistant to medical treatment. Using some discretion and maturity in partner choice, as well as using protection can help keep your body healthier.

Lifestyle changes can also make a big difference in what causes male infertility, and avoiding drugs, tobacco, and alcohol will mean that sperm counts remain higher.

Those men who work in industries that use heavy metals such as lead or cadmium should probably consider a change of occupation, if possible, or practice such measures as changing clothing and bathing as soon as they reach home.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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