Infertility was always thought to be associated with women. The fact is male partners too contribute to infertility. Fatherhood is a beautiful experience but these days many men are unable to realize this dream due to several reasons. Lifestyle factors have impacted men’s fertility to a greater extent and also educational and career aspirations force men to postpone their marriage and parenthood journey which in turn has resulted in problems related to conception. Due to embarrassment and privacy, men do not speak about their infertility issues.
But if a couple is unable to conceive even after a year of trying, both the partners have to be checked for their fertility potential by a fertility specialist as problems in sperm can result in miscarriages as well. Like the saying, “it takes two hands to clap”, the efforts of both the partners are needed to make a wonderful bond called family.
What causes infertility in men?
Nowadays, there is a steep rise in cases of male infertility. There are a wide array of reasons that can affect men’s fertility.
Causes of male infertility:
This is a very common condition seen in males that might lead to infertility. Varicocele is the bulging of veins in the scrotum(sac holding testicles) similar to varicose veins in legs. This can be treated by laparoscopic surgery or varicocelectomy.
- Lifestyle factors:
Excessive drinking and lack of physical exercise can affect sperm quality. Men especially working in night shifts face infertility as their sleep-wake cycle is affected. Proper sleep pattern is very much essential to maintain good sperm quality.
Men’s fertility decreases with age. But many are unaware of this fact. Sperm quality and quantity also decrease after the age of 32.
- Genetic diseases:
Men with certain genetic diseases like Klinefelter syndrome, Cystic fibrosis may have no or low sperm count. Advanced fertility treatments can enable men with genetic disorders to achieve their parenthood dream.
- Cancer and cancer treatments:
Fertility is affected due to cancer and treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Through fertility preservation, men can store their sperms for future use before undergoing cancer treatment thereby preserving their fertility.
Simple ways to improve men’s fertility:
- Check your weight:
Your weight can affect your fertility. Being obese can affect the development of sperm and also cause changes in sperm DNA. Avoiding unhealthy foods and making exercise part of daily life can go a long way in improving one’s chances of becoming a father.
Stress has become a major factor in reducing fertility. Men with high levels of stress may have poor sperm quality and have problems in conception. Reduce stress by meditation, swimming, and other forms of exercise.
- Say bye-bye to puff:
Smoking reduces one’s sperm count and also affects the motility of the sperm. It also has been observed that women have miscarriages when the male partner is a smoker. Quitting smoking can improve the chances of conception.
- Don’t make your laptop sit on your lap for a long time:
The heat and radiation from laptop usage can affect your fertility by affecting sperm production.
- Choose a healthy diet:
Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants can help in combating oxidative stress and improve sperm health.
Treatments for male infertility:
Male infertility can be treated by 3 means:
- Medical Management
- Surgical Management
- Lifestyle changes
- Medical Management:
Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, glutathione are used to manage male infertility. And men with low testosterone can be treated with Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) which can improve the levels of FSH and LH hormones which in turn can enhance the production of sperm.
- Surgical Management:
- Micro-Tese (Microscopic Testicular Sperm Extraction):
This highly advanced procedure is used to retrieve sperms from the testis in the case of men suffering from Azoospermia (a condition wherein no sperm is found in semen).
Men with varicocele condition can overcome infertility through a surgery called varicocelectomy. Varicocele embolization is another minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat male infertility.
- Vasectomy Reversal:
Men who had undergone vasectomy (birth control measure) also can pursue fertility goals through vasectomy reversal procedure and achieve their fatherhood dream once again.
- Lifestyle Changes:
Men who wish to embark on their fatherhood journey have to follow a healthy diet, lead a stress-free life, and follow a regular exercise regime. Slight lifestyle modifications can help improve fertility and also overall health.
Men are unaware of the importance of sperm quality and count in terms of conception. Androlife is a specialized branch of science that deals with men’s reproductive health and Andrologists are exclusive specialists who treat male infertility. If you are unable to conceive, just feel free to visit a fertility specialist. There are many advanced techniques by which men can overcome infertility and attain fatherhood!