Male infertility is more common than you think. In the UAE alone, one of five couples experiences infertility problems with 50% of it due to infertility in men. This was a UAE based study of both Emirati and expatriate males.
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There are many reasons as to why infertility in males can happen, and believe it or not, a lot of those reasons can be changed. This is why it’s so important in understanding the causes of male infertility and how it can be avoided through simple lifestyle and habitual changes.
What is Male Infertility?
Male infertility is when the sperm count is too low to conceive a child. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average sperm sample has a sperm count of 15 million. Male infertility is considered when the sperm count is below that number.
Other reasons for male infertility include genetics and sperm quality; however, studies suggest that 90% of male infertility is due to low sperm count.
Causes of Male Infertility
A low sperm count most often causes male infertility. The below point may be reasons that can bring your sperm count down.
- A pre-existing genetic condition: If you have a family history of male infertility, it may also affect you.
- Use of tobacco or other drugs: Studies have shown that people who smoke in excess or use certain drugs can affect sperm count numbers.
- Hernia problems and treatments
- Hormone imbalance or disorders
- Exposure to radiation
- Exposure to poisonous chemicals
- A blockage caused by a previous infection
- Wearing restrictive or tight underwear
- Putting your laptop on top of your lap for long hours
- Physical injury to the groin region
Other reasons for male infertility can occur due to ejaculation problems as opposed to sperm count. These complications include:
- Premature ejaculation
- Retrograde ejaculation (this occurs when semen is forced back into the bladder
- Erectile dysfunction
- Complications from previous surgeries or radiation therapy
- The use of medical treatments that may leave side effects
- Stress and mental health reasons have also been linked to male infertility
Preventing and Avoiding Male Infertility
Making small lifestyle changes can help you to preserve the health and quality of your sperm as well as not compromising your sperm count. Although genetic factors, as well as accidents, are always possibilities of male infertility that are out of your control, you can still change and adapt to a lifestyle that won’t put you at risk. Here a few simple changes you can make in your lifestyle to avoid male infertility.
- Eat healthily. Foods such as citrus fruits, walnuts, fibrous and nutritious foods are known to improve the quality of sperm and increase sperm count
- Quit smoking and using drug substances. Tobacco and certain ingredients found in drugs can reduce sperm count
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is known to affect hormone levels as well as effecting sperm count and quality. Being overweight has been linked to the production of defected sperm cells.
- Avoid radiation. Radiation in your genital region is known to kill sperm cells. Studies have shown that simply putting your laptop on your lap for hours on end is enough to cause male infertility.
When to See a Doctor
If you have been trying for a child for a while to no success, you may want to speak with a doctor. Male infertility can be slowly reversed and improved depending on your current condition, which is why it’s important to get professional advice as soon as possible.
Poor lifestyle choices that can result in male infertility can also result in other health complications which is why getting advice nice and early can help you in many different matters. If you have experienced any of the below, you may want to see a doctor:
- Over the age of 40
- Have tried but failed to conceive for over 6 months
- Have a family history of infertility
- Have taken strong medicine or treatment
- Have had previous miscarriages
Come Forward and Get Checked
Often when couples struggle to conceive, the woman’s fertility comes to question. Though women should have this checked up, it is important for men also to come forward and identify if the reason for infertility is coming from their side.
Men should come forward and come to terms if their sperm is infertile. Getting a check-up from the doctor should never be something to be afraid of or ashamed about. There are many discrete treatments you can try as long as you come forward.
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