Male infertility can get in the way of growing your family. In 35% of couples, both the man and woman have factors that make it hard to conceive. In 8% of couples with infertility, issues with the man’s fertility is the sole reason they can’t get pregnant.
If you’ve been diligently trying to conceive for an entire year with no success, or you’re older than 35 and have been trying for six months, it’s time to seek a professional evaluation. At California Center for Reproductive Health, our team can identify the cause of infertility and offer treatment so you can build your family.
We look at both the man and the woman’s reproductive health. Here’s what puts a man at risk for infertility.
First, the basics
Conception can only occur when a man’s sperm combines with a woman’s egg. The man’s testicles are the organs responsible for making and storing sperm. They must be fully developed and functioning. His body also needs to produce adequate testosterone and other hormones necessary to maintain sperm production.
Sperm are then carried to semen, but if there is a blockage in the reproductive tract, they may never get there. A man’s semen has to have enough sperm. If it doesn’t, a man has what’s known as a low sperm count and has a harder time getting his partner pregnant.
The semen is then delivered to the female reproductive tract during ejaculation. The sperm must be mobile. If they are particularly slow or abnormal, they may not be able to make the necessary trip to the fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg.
Men at risk
The most common factors leading to male infertility include:
- Past inflammation of the prostate
- Past genital infections
- Early or late puberty
- Twisting or other injury to the testicles
- Exposure of the genitals to high temperatures
- Hernia repair
- Undescended testicles
Prescription medicines for ulcers, psoriasis, depression, and high blood pressure can also cause problems with male fertility.
Environmental factors, like extended exposure to certain pesticides and painting materials, heavy metal exposure, and exposure to high levels of radiation, put a man at risk of infertility. In some of these cases, the effects are temporary.
Being overweight, smoking, excessive alcohol use, and drug use also can temporarily affect male fertility by causing the testicles to shrink and inhibiting sperm production.
At California Center for Reproductive Health, we can narrow down the cause of your infertility and offer treatments. Sometimes, the treatment includes optimizing your lifestyle, like helping you quit smoking, change hot tub and sauna habits, reduce stress, avoid illicit drugs, minimize alcohol intake, and maintain a healthy weight.
We may also recommend that you undergo advanced testing for issues like antisperm antibodies, abnormal sperm DNA fragmentation/sustainability, or a central hormonal imbalance.
We’ll treat any detected problems medically or use assisted reproductive technology (ART) that includes in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
At California Center for Reproductive Health, we provide advanced fertility support to all people in the Southern California area who are struggling to conceive. Call our nearest office or use this website to request a consultation.