Most often, the cause for infertility remains a mystery and what we all do is guess the different possibilities for the same. Listed here are some of the causes that we see frequently among more number of individuals:
Substance use: Repeatedly, we hear experts advise against heavy smoking and drinking as they are one of the most popular causes of male infertility. They lower sperm count, lower sperm quality and negatively impact sperm production/function (in some cases sperms produced are unable to swim and reach the ovary). Use of marijuana, meth and cocaine also contribute towards male infertility.
Testosterone supplements: Testosterone hormone aids in sperm production but when the same is consumed in supplement form (injection, pill or gel to increase libido) the same testosterone can cause a sharp decline in sperm count. Doctors look at it this way-giving an individual testosterone is like putting him on birth control as it suppresses normal hormone processes in the body from triggering the testicles to make sperm.
Varicocele: This is the presence of varicose vein in the scrotum that exists in almost 20% of the male population. Varicocele is the result of impartially closed veins that makes the blood flow back to the scrotum causing the veins to stretch out. This increases temperature in the testicle causing intense pain. Although fertility mostly remains unaffected, it can cause irregular sperm shape, morphology or sperm death.
Medical issues: Some men are born with a functional vasectomy meaning that the vas deferens is severed or absent. Surgical procedures can help correct this or can be used for in vitro fertilization.
Uncontrolled diabetes: Here, the man ejaculates but nothing spurts out. Instead of coming out, the ejaculation goes in as a result of erectile dysfunction. Too much blood sugar levels can cause decline in testosterone levels and dry ejaculation. It is better to control diabetes and prevent such problems in the first place.
Obesity: Men in their prime age wish to get married, have babies and start living a family life. But when such men are diagnosed of diabetes/heart disease risk due to obesity, they feel dejected. Furthermore, they might also be a victim of infertility due to obesity. Obesity might cause lower testosterone levels which in turn might cause lower sperm production. Aim to lose weight gradually to reach your healthy body weight with the help of a nutritionist/dietitian at www.firsteatright.com.
Environmental toxins: Metals such as lead, chemicals such as pesticides, Bisphenol A or BPA found in everyday products such as canned foods/water bottles can kill sperms. We cannot do much to curb exposure to chemicals, but we can ensure taking care of what goes into our body or what we bring home.
Lifestyle: Never can eating healthy, sleeping well, staying active and maintaining stress levels be ignored as they are key to improving fertility.
Most times we cannot predict the causes for male infertility (that’s the reason almost 50% of the times when couples struggle to conceive). What we can do is, be sure that what helps in our well-being is definitely going to help our fertility levels too. In general, anything good for the overall health is good for fertility and anything bad for the overall health is bad for fertility as well.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.