Male Infertility Risk Factors: What Can and Can’t Be Helped
Preventing male infertility is possible but only in certain cases of proactivity. Male infertility isn’t always due to things that can be helped – sometimes there are other factors that play a role. The fact is, male infertility is more common than you think – infertility cases are evenly split between male factor, female factor, and unknown causes.
Fortunately, facilities like the Male Fertility Specialists are experienced in offering comprehensive male fertility treatment in a wide variety of situations. We’ve assisted couples when infertility could not be prevented, as well as at times when it may be too late to avoid an infertility diagnosis.
Cases in which male infertility can (potentially) be avoided include those due to:
- Lifestyle choices – high stress levels, STIs (sexually transmitted infections), excessive alcohol use, tobacco use, excessive exercise, and (illegal) drug use are all factors that contribute to male infertility. If you are attempting to conceive but practice any of the previously listed factors, then it’s possible that you will struggle to have a child and may even receive an infertility diagnosis. It’s important to discuss your lifestyle with your doctor prior to trying for a pregnancy as he or she can advise on any changes you should make that can improve chances of conception. Of course, these lifestyle practices are not recommended for general, overall health – so you should discuss actions on improvement regardless.
- Medication – Certain prescribed medications can cause infertility. Sometimes these medications can be replaced with a prescription that will not risk infertility, but sometimes they cannot. We recommend discussing your medication(s) with your doctor and asking if fertility will be affected. Medications that can affect male fertility include drugs for arthritis, digestive diseases, hypertension and chemotherapy (see below for more details).
Cases in which male infertility cannot be avoided include those due to:
- Cancer treatment – Treatment for cancer may cause infertility, which is why many specialists recommend that cancer patients preserve their fertility for when they are ready to build their family.
- Injury – Injuries (spinal/groin) can be avoided with proper safety precautions, but accidents can happen, and military members are more susceptible to groin injury during deployment. Groin injuries are often responsible for male infertility, but there are often surgical options available. Fertility preservation is often recommended to military members for this reason.
- Disease/illness or abnormality – Cystic fibrosis, systemic disease, sickle cell anemia and testicular cancer are all common sources of male infertility. Other causes include: cryptorchidism, ductal obstruction, hemochromatosis, hormone dysfunction, prostatitis, retrograde ejaculation and Varicocele.
Dr. Bastuba of the Male Fertility Specialists is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. If you believe your infertility may be attributed to one of the above causes, please contact MFS today to schedule a consultation.