Have you ever wondered if infertility impacts men too? Infertility in a man – is it an oxymoron?
Fertility problems for men – is it really an issue? Well, let’s dive in and find out!
It’s been said that in the United States, about 10-15% of couples are infertile. Infertility happens when a couple can’t get pregnant despite the number of times they have unprotected sex in about a year. The cause may be an issue that resides with either partner.
Infertile Men Symptoms
There are a number of signs that may appear when men are dealing with infertility. Some problems could be difficulty with ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, which happens when a man can’t maintain an erection. Other related symptoms are lack of sexual desire, pain or swelling in the testicle area.
What’s the Cause of Infertility in a Man?
At first, it’s not necessary to see a doctor but if you’ve been trying to conceive for at least one year, then it’s time to consult a with fertility doctor.
Some causes could be related to the following:
- Low sperm count or other sperm related issues
- Genetic defects, undescended testicles
- Health issues such as diabetes
- Infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV
- Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum (also known as varicocele)
- You are aware of other members in your family with infertility issues
- History of prostate or sexual problems
- Environmental factors (for example: exposure to radiation, chemotherapy, pesticides and other chemicals. Smoking cigarettes or taking substances, alcohol, marijuana or taking certain medications)
If you are trying to conceive and you’re being treated for a condition then let your doctor know so that they’ll be more mindful of what to prescribe. Be mindful to read labels and when in doubt ask your pharmacist.
The causes of infertility can affect one or both partners; however, about one-third of the cases is an issue with the male. The percentage of issues in the female is also one-third and the rest of the cases are issues with both the male and female or unidentifiable causes.
Male Infertility Factors
Some risk factors apply to both male and female infertility. Some are as follows:
Age – Men who are over 40 may start being less fertile than younger men. At which point, your offspring may experience higher rates of certain medical conditions such as psychiatric disorders.
Alcohol use – Heavy alcohol use can impact quality and sperm count.
Tobacco use – Smoking by either partner will reduce the possibility of pregnancy.
Being overweight – Sperm count may be affected if the man is overweight.
What to Do as You Plan and Wait!
In the paragraph above, the infertility factors are clearly noted, so the best thing to do is to avoid those that are in your control. If having a child is important to you then make it a priority to get on a plan to lose weight if that’s a factor. By no means, am I saying these changes can be obtained overnight; I’m simply suggesting taking the first step towards your goal, ultimately having a child of your own.
Change your diet – change your life! Start by eating healthier and limiting your alcohol consumption. Are you taking vitamins? It’s important to make sure that you are getting your daily nutrients and vitamins.
If you are on prescribed medications that are causing a low sperm count then ask your physician for alternatives or whether a lower dosage will work for your condition.
It’s ok to consult with a holistic doctor; after all, there are natural ways to heal the body as well. Ask your friends, ask around – you will find others having similar issues. The problem is, we don’t talk about these things enough so everyone thinks they’re alone.
Find an infertility support group! I guarantee you someone in your circle is going through the same issue. Be a little transparent or vulnerable in order to get information that could be useful to you.
Avoid smoking and/or taking substances. If you are an active smoker – commit to quitting. Practice new habits like going for walks, dancing or playing game boards. Start small with possibly walking for 10 minutes every day. As you develop a routine for about a month, it will become a habit and of course, a lifestyle.
Search for new hobbies and make time to explore them. What do you have to lose? Nothing – but everything to gain – a better state of health and having a baby.
Pick up a fun/comedy book or movie. Allow yourself to feel good and stress-free as you continue to plan for pregnancy. Laugh together – go back to the good old days and remember the very special thing that brought you two together – love, communication, and enjoying each other’s company.
Have fun getting to know each other all over again. True love has an interesting way of turning circumstances around – you never know! Be honest with each other! Be realistic and optimistic!
If you’re able to travel, take vacations – long or short, simply getting away as a couple from the norm can boost up your mood an increase your chance at having a baby.
A very important goal is to remember to find healthy outlets for your emotions as you go through the journey of planning and waiting.
Men Fertility Problems – Real Issues with Real Solutions!
Men fertility problems may not always be preventable but the above suggestions can help ease the situation. The first step is knowing and accepting the issues and coping with them.
Ultimately, there are other ways to bring a child into your life; either through assisted reproductive technology like IUI or IVF, surrogacy or donor sperm. Our health care system is so far advanced that having a child through those means can be expensive but are not impossible.
Some insurance has coverage for these treatments and/or procedures. Also, there are grants to cover some of the procedures if you meet their criteria – research, and research.
If you really desire to have your own baby then you will need to do a little of research to see what means are available to you.
Being a father is so rewarding in so many ways and there’s no reason to cheat yourself out of that experience.
What are your thoughts on infertility?
Let me know about your journey by leaving a comment!