What Causes Male Infertility?
When a couple faces an infertility diagnosis, it can be difficult to accept that they will likely require assistance in order to have a child.
If there is a male fertility issue, it's understandable for couples to feel even more at a loss because male fertility is so rarely discussed – outside of tips such as “Don't wear underwear that's too tight,” or “Heat from laptops and hot tubs can affect male fertility.”
Understanding possible causes of male infertility can help patients have an open line of communication with their fertility specialist about treatment options, including the possible need for a sperm donor.
Male fertility issues can be as wide-ranging as female fertility issues, which is why we've provided an outline on the potential causes of male infertility.
Male infertility issues can be caused by an illness, including:
- STDs/STIs – A sexually transmitted disease or infection can lead to an obstruction or scarring, making conception difficult or impossible unless the person receives treatment.
- Cystic fibrosis – Can hinder conception since men who have cystic fibrosis may not have an intact seminal tract.
- Sickle cell anemia – Can lead to decreased testicular function.
- Systemic disease – Can cause damage that impairs sperm creation.
- Testicular cancer – Can damage sperm.
Injury to the testicular area can cause an anatomical response that may potentially damage sperm. A fertility specialist will determine if the injury is affecting a patient's fertility. Spinal cord injury can also affect a man's ability to reproduce since it could lead to a higher chance of sexual dysfunction, ejaculatory issues, lower amount or quality of sperm production, infection or blockages.
Certain forms of male sexual dysfunction can affect fertility, particularly if the individual is unable to achieve and maintain an erection or if his ability to have an orgasm is compromised. Fortunately, a range of treatment options exists to treat male sexual dysfunction, though the treatment will depend on each individual diagnosis.
These are a few of the top causes for male infertility; other potential causes can include: