Breaking the Silence on Male Infertility

Most men in our society are taught from an early age to be the strong, indestructible, superhero-types within a family; the one who is meant to take care of his family, to provide. 

One very significant milestone in a man’s life is to marry and have children. 

Infertility can completely render a man powerless. If they cannot perform their “duties” as a man in the way society expects them to, it can have devastating consequences. So because of this, most men would rather not talk about this issue because they may feel judged, ashamed or humiliated.

Human emotion is deeply complicated and when it comes to male emotion, is often overlooked. We often fail to recognise that emotions are not gender-specific.  Read more about the emotional impact of male infertility here.

What Is Male Infertility?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the inability to fall pregnant within 12 months of trying to conceive is recognised as infertility.

How Common Is Male Infertility?

One in eight couples has trouble falling pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Infertility is a widespread problem. Research has shown that approximately 30% of the cause of infertility is found to be a woman. 30% of the cause of infertility is found to be with the man. 30% of the origin of infertility is found to be both male and female. The final 10% is believed that the underlying cause cannot be determined by diagnostic methods used today.

In at least 50% of male infertility cases, fertility specialists cannot pinpoint an exact cause. For other cases, infertility is due to either environmental, genetic, or other distinguishable factors.

What are the symptoms of male infertility?

  • Changes in sexual desire
    • A man’s fertility is intrinsically connected to his hormonal health. Changes in virility, often led by hormones, can mean issues with fertility
  • Testicle pain or swelling
    • Several conditions can lead to pain or swelling in the testicles, many of these can contribute to infertility
  • Erectile Dysfunction
    • Erectile concerns are often linked to a man’s hormonal health. Hormonal deficiencies can cause concerns when trying to conceive
  • Issues with ejaculation
    • Similarly, an inability to ejaculate is a concern that needs to be addressed with a doctor 
  •  Small, firm testicles
    • The testes house a man’s sperm, so testicle health is vital to healthy male fertility. Small or firm testicles could indicate potential issues that should be examined by your medical practitioner

Environmental Causes Of Male Infertility Include:

  • Certain antibiotics and prescription medication, anabolic steroids, alcohol, recreational drugs, marijuana
  • In fact, the abuse of anabolic steroids or testosterone injections cannot be stressed enough
  • Toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, lead, mercury, i.e. exposure in the work environment
  • Excess Stress
  • Excess exercising, including cycling
  • Chronic diseases, such as anaemia, malnutrition, cancer, neurological disease, or diabetes
  • Male genital tract diseases which include infection, cancer, physical trauma to the testes area, retrograde ejaculation
  • Dietary deficiencies, including Zinc, Vitamin C or Folic Acid
  • Varicocele which is a condition in which the veins enlarge the inside of the scrotum
  • Surgeries within the male genital tract, including treatments of undescended testicles or hernia
  • Obesity

Genetic Causes Of Male Infertility Include:

  • Common causes of genetic factors such as Cystic Fibrosis, an abnormal number of chromosomes, Y-chromosome mutations
  • Hormonal issues, including diabetes
  • High levels of the milk-producing hormone prolactin
  • Difficulties with hormone-producing organs (i.e., the thyroid or adrenal gland)

Ways To Boost Male Infertility:

Male infertility does not need to be permanent or untreatable. Here are some fertility-boosting tips 

  • Avoid smoking, excessive exercise, drugs and alcohol abuse
  • Reduce stress where possible
  • Acupuncture 
  • Take good-quality vitamins daily
  • Boost your antioxidant consumption 
  • Start making small changes to your lifestyle including introducing a healthy and nutritious eating plan
  • Practice yoga and mindfulness
  • Seek assistance through a Fertility Coach or a counsellor

With a simple Semen Analysis test, we can offer you more insight and provide you with comprehensive treatment advice – so please do get in touch with us.