So, when you hear the world INFERTILITY, I bet your mind jumps to a woman having trouble getting pregnant. Contrary to popular belief, infertility doesn’t just affect females. Men can have trouble conceiving as well. Infertility in men is another taboo subject, unfortunately. Infertility is the inability to achieve a successful pregnancy. For couples who are below advanced maternal age, if they have been trying to conceive for a year or longer without success, they are dealing with infertility. This can impact both males and females. More on female infertility factors can be found here.
Male infertility factors can be from many different kinds of causes. But, their are some things that men can do to help with these fertility troubles. They can go through some testing to try to determine the root cause of the problem. Once they find the problem, most male infertility problems can be fixed or helped. Infertility in men can often be helped with simple lifestyle changes.
To find out the root cause, the most common thing a man can do is a sperm analysis. The doctor can receive results on many factors affecting the sperm. The most common for them to evaluate and look at are the quantity of the sperm, shape of the sperm and sperm motility. With each of these analysis results, doctors can determine what their plan of attack can be.
The common factors impacting infertility in men are:
1. Sperm shape- a normal result for this would be more than 50 percent of sperm that is normal in shape. If more than 50 percent of the sperms shape are abnormal, this can be a cause of infertility.
2. Sperm count- the number of sperm can vary, but, a normal amount in an analysis should be somewhere between 20 million to 200+ million. If the quantity is below that, it can be more difficult to conceive.
3. Sperm motility-If more than 50 percent of the sperm are still moving in the correct direction an hour after ejaculatoin, sperm motility is considered optimal.
Other factors impacting male fertility:
There are other things that’s the semen analysis test for such as the pH level, the physical volume of the sperm, the liquefaction time and the physical appearance. If abnormal results are noted, infertility may be the cause, but, there are a couple other things this could indicate. Abnormal results could indicate some kind of infection, hormonal imbalance, diabetes, radiation exposure or genetic defects. All of these indications should be addressed and may require additional testing.
If you’re trying to conceive and are having difficultly, there are some things you can try to do to help enhance your fertility.
1. Lose weight- losing weight can increase sperm count.
2. Quit bad habits like smoking, excessive drinking, drug or steroid use. Smoking is the major reason for infertility.
3. Check medications and side effects they have on fertility
4. Avoid hot environments like hot tubs or saunas. Hot temperatures cause low sperm count.
5. Keep laptops off of lap. Increased temperature can decrease sperm count.
6. Avoid form fitting clothing. Tight clothing decreases sperm count
7. Don’t use lubricant during sex. It makes it harder for the sperm to swim.
8. Check your diet. Include a diet rich with minerals, vitamins and iron!
9. Get a sufficient amount sleep.
10. Avoid sitting for long amounts of time
These are just general guidelines or suggestions. You should absolutely talk to your doctor and follow any recommendations they tell you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. To learn more about female infertility and factors that impact female fertility, check out that post here. To find out more about our own journey battling infertility, check out that post here. Infertility in men and women should not be something that you’re afraid to discuss. The more we open up about it and share our stories, the easier it is to find support. Infertility can be a very touchy subject, especially in men who do not want to hurt their pride. Set pride aside and open up.
Feel free to share your stories or ask questions below in the comments. Thanks and good luck.