So many couples focus on the woman when investigating infertility issues, but men should not be overlooked. Infertility is a man’s issue too, and a surprisingly common one at that. Read our latest blog to learn more about common causes and treatment options below!
The Prevalence of Infertility in Men
Male infertility is an often misunderstood condition that can be complex and frustrating for those affected. It refers to a man’s inability to conceive due multiple factors including low sperm count, decreased motility, or even abnormalities within the sperm cells. While 1 in 8 couples have difficulty conceiving, around 40% of that can be attributed to male factor infertility. In other words, a man’s fertility issues may contribute to over a third of cases for those facing fertility difficulties.
With approximately 30 million cases of male infertility estimated by the World Health Organization, even as numbers continue to rise, the condition remains largely overlooked primarily due to social stigma. This silence surrounding male infertility can lead to further complications in conception. Are you aware that nearly half of the men don’t seek any testing or treatment for fertility issues? By discussing male infertility openly, we can work together to lead men toward more success in their reproductive journey.
Environmental Vs. Genetic Causes
When trying to conceive, pinpointing the cause of infertility can often be challenging. For men, there are a number of factors such as medical, environmental and genetic that can contribute. When discussing environmental factors, exposure to toxins such as radiation, air and water pollution, heavy metals, and pesticides can harm sperm production. Lifestyle choices also play a role; reduced exercise or the use of drugs and alcohol can decrease a man’s overall fertility. Additionally, hormone imbalances and prior surgeries can also cause issues with male infertility..
Genetic abnormalities may also contribute to male infertility. Mutations that impair the production of sperm, as well as those that cause impaired function of the reproductive organs, are both common. Y-chromosome mutations are known to result in infertility or low sperm count and motility. Klinefelter syndrome, caused by an alternate number of sex chromosomes, can cause infertility due to the abnormal development of male sexual organs and decreased testosterone levels.
Treatment: Is Male Infertility Curable?
The good news for couples struggling with male infertility is that it is not necessarily permanent. While some causes of male infertility, such as genetic diseases and reproductive system defects, prove more challenging, a urologist can successfully treat many cases. Urologists specialize in dealing with conditions related to the urinary tracts and reproductive organs in men, making them an invaluable resource during diagnosis and treatment. Through a physical exam and tests such as semen analysis, hormone testing, testicular biopsy, and more, urologists can identify potential fertility issues and provide a plan of treatment options to increase the chances of conception. With proper medical care and guidance, men can get back on track to starting or growing their families.
There’s no need to tackle infertility alone. Our board-certified physicians at Urology Clinics of North Texas can help you find the most effective treatment plan. Visit our website to learn more about our services across various North Texas locations.