How Sexual Health Can Affect Male Fertility
Although male sexual health and male fertility are often discussed as two separate issues, there is in fact a strong correlation between the two. Sexual dysfunction, certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), injuries and trauma, fitness and exercise routines, and urology health can all impact male fertility, making it critical for men to be aware of and protect their sexual health and stay well informed of any potential risks.
Key Factors Impacting Male Fertility
Numerous forms of sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction, delayed or absent orgasm, penile bend, and premature or retarded ejaculation, can impact male fertility. As many as 30% of men are affected by some form of sexual dysfunction, but there is a range of treatment and counseling options available for people dealing with these issues.
Undergoing treatment for certain types of cancer, such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma, can also affect the body’s ability to produce sperm, making it more difficult to conceive a child with your partner. Discussing your options and outlook with a specialist will help ensure you’re taking all the steps necessary to allow for the best chances of conceiving.
STDs and STIs
Certain STDs and STIs can affect one’s chances of conceiving, so it’s important to have a handle on any existing conditions and take the right preventative measures to avoid contracting anything in the first place. Keep in mind that many STDs and STIs are asymptomatic, and many people mistake or confuse symptoms.
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and mycoplasma genitalium can all reduce your sperm count, and HIV/AIDS can affect fertility as well. Be sure to get tested for STDs and HIV before trying to conceive, and ensure your partner does as well, even if you’re in a long-term, monogamous relationship.
There are many treatment options available to either cure or manage STDs and STIs, and working with a trusted health care provider or fertility specialist will provide peace of mind and access to reliable information and guidance.
Injuries and Trauma
It’s not uncommon to sustain groin and genital injuries at some point throughout one’s lifetime — for instance, from sports or workplace accidents — but such injuries can lower men’s sperm count, making it more difficult to conceive. Wearing a cup during athletic activities and taking care during any kind of physical activity can help reduce the risk of injury.
Injuries sustained during surgeries can also affect male fertility, as can prior trauma and abnormal development issues, including cystic fibrosis. Review your medical history in detail with a doctor, and develop a solid understanding of any conditions or injuries that may be affecting your fertility.
Fitness and Exercise Routines
While it’s important to maintain a regular fitness regimen and healthy weight, extreme exercise can negatively affect your ability to have children. Working out too hard, too long, or too often can reduce your testosterone levels, and therefore, your sperm count, as can the use of steroids, which can shrink the size of the testicles and lower sperm count.
Maintain a regular, moderate routine, and discuss your regimen and fitness goals with a professional to ensure you don’t jeopardize your chances of conceiving. Studies have shown that moderate exercise can improve sperm count, so be sure to remain active. It’s also important to remember that being either overweight or underweight can cause fertility issues by lowering one’s sperm count.
Urology disorders, which can affect men’s ability to urinate, can also impact fertility. Kidney, prostate, urinary tract, and bladder conditions can all reduce the chances of conceiving, and should be addressed with a trusted health care provider.
Keep an eye on your urination, and get in touch with a specialist if you notice any blood, pain, or other abnormalities. Also keep in mind that lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking, and drug use, can lower sperm count and impede your ability to conceive.
Connect with a Male Fertility Specialist
Whether you’re actively trying to have your first child or expand your family, or simply weighing your options for the future, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the various health and lifestyle factors that can impact male fertility.
To discuss your unique needs with a specialist or set up an appointment, get in touch with the experts at Male Fertility & Medicine Specialists today.