Usually when a couple has a hard time conceiving the first thing they look at is a woman's ovulation schedule. In the past, women's reproductive health was suspected as the culprit behind infertility, but with our increased medical knowledge we know that men and women's health both need to be taken into consideration when couples struggle to conceive.
These are the ways that male infertility impacts women and the possibility of conceiving a child.
16 His Semen Aren't Effective
According to the CDC, 7.5% of men (3.3-4.5 million men) aged 45 years and younger have seen a fertility expert in their lifetime, out of this number 18% have been diagnosed with fertility problems. And from that number, 14% have semen problems.
This means men with undiagnosed infertility issues may engage in sex with their partner while she continues to track her cycle and fertile days, meanwhile the chances of conceiving are still limited.
15 Untreated Fertility Issue
Health Day reveals that 30-40% of infertile couples are due to male infertility. These problems are caused by undiagnosed issues like varicocele, where the veins on the penis are large enough to cause over heating and malformed sperm to produce as a result.
The good news is that most male fertility problems are not permanent and can be easily treated. Men who have previously fathered children can even suffer secondary infertility causing some women to believe the problem lies with them.
14 Problem in the Testis
Just like women whose ovaries can't produce eggs, some men have testis that can't produce any sperm or very few sperm decreasing the chances of impregnating their partners. In some cases men might have been born without a testes or the vas deferens, which again make conception difficult and maybe even impossible.
If the man doesn't know his testis are the problem, couples may assume there's no hope of them conceiving, but depending on the problem with the testis, most problems can be treated and reversed.
13 Sexually Transmitted Disease
Sexually transmitted diseases can effect the fertility of both men and women. Infections like gonorrhoea can cause infertility by narrowing the urethra and causing less sperm to come out during ejaculation and another complication called epididymo-orchitis which is the inflammation of the epididymis inside the testicle.
Some men may not be aware that they have contracted gonorrhoea because their symptoms may have cleared up on their own. In this case not only will a couple have trouble conceiving, but most likely the man has passed the STI onto his partner.
12 The Underwear
This might seem like a bit of a stretch, but it's possible for some men's ability to produce quality sperm to be hampered by their choice of underwear. Men's briefs can cause the testicles to overheat and produce less sperm and malformed sperm.
So if a man usually wears briefs, maybe he should consider switching while the couple try to conceive.
11 Hormone Problems
The human body has a delicate microbiome that either works to the benefit or detriment of the individual. This means if a man has a hormone imbalance this could cause problems with his ability to produce sperm. The pituitary gland in the male brain aids in the process of making sperm.
If the pituitary gland doesn't function properly it can cause conditions like Cushing's disease or hyperprolactinaemia. Cushing's is a form on tumour that grows in the brain due to elevated levels of cortisol. Hyperprolactinaemia can cause low semen volume in ejaculation, low sperm count and even impair the way sperm move.
10 Illegal Substances
A recent VICE article explored illicit drug use and male fertility, what they found was that all street drugs damage the testicles and can even cause problems with an offspring in the case that a male habitual drug user gets a woman pregnant.
For coupes who like to walk on the wild side, they may have trouble conceiving later on down the road, or may produce children that have special needs.
9 Testes Haven't Dropped
Most of the time, undescended testis are caught at the baby stage. Usually by 6-8 months the pediatrician will have caught the absence of the testicle. If the testicles don't drop on their own a small surgery can be performed to bring the testis down.
Undescended testis can increase the chances of testicular cancer and cause infertility.
8 Bad Habits
Smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can effect fertility in both men and women. Tobacco smoke can damage sperm and DNA damage which means that a smokers sperm is less likely to create an embryo that will survive.
Likewise, a drinker's sperm suffer from excessive alcohol consumption. Sperm quality, structure and movement is more likely to be impaired in a drinker than a non-drinker or someone who drinks responsibly. For couples or individuals who are considering getting pregnant should support one another in a smoke and drink free environment for healthy conception and pregnancy.
7 Scarring from Operation
Some men who've had an inguinal hernia repair may have scar tissue that prevents their ducts from carrying sperm and cause infertility. This is a rare occurrence, but still a complication from the surgery.
6 Inherited Condition
There are a number of conditions caused by abnormal genes which can interfere with a man's fertility. One of these inherited conditions called Klinefelter's Syndrome, causes a man to have small testicles which don't produce enough testosterone which is essential for producing healthy sperm.
Other hereditary diseases that can cause infertility in men are Kallman's syndrome and testicular feminisation syndrome.
5 Being Overweight
Being overweight can cause a number of health problems, one of those being infertility. Being overweight or obese can cause a decreased sex drive, erectile disfunction and lower quality sperm.
Couples who find their weight is interfering with their fertility can eat healthy and exercise regularly together to make increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
4 Testicular Cancer
In the worst case scenario, a man might be infertile because of testicular cancer. While chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used to treat the cancer, it may worsen any fertility issue the man is having. Surgery may also be used to remove a tumour, but if that involves removing testicular tissue, again this can interfere with sperm production or sperm delivery through the urethra or vas deferens.
3 Past Infection of the Testes
If a man had been infected with mumps, it's possible the childhood disease can cause infertility when a boy in puberty or full grown man catch the disease. Mumps can cause testicular inflammation which affects their testicles ability to produce sperm.
2 Testicular Torsion
This occurs when a man's tissue around the testis loosely attaches to the inner wall of the scrotum allowing the testis to rotate on the spermatic cord causing a restriction of sperm in ejaculation. This can either be an inherited trait or loosen over time on its own.
1 Sexual Problems
These problems can range from erectile dysfunction to premature ejaculation, some men might even fail to ejaculate altogether. Surprisingly, prostate surgeries can also cause fertility issues, as can spinal cord injuries and damage to nerves.