There are many reasons for infertility. The unfortunate statistic is that it appears to be increasing, not just in America, but on a global scale. Therefore, it is important to look at the underlying causes of infertility. The basic cause of this condition; the root of its definition, lies in a couple’s inability to conceive after having regular, unprotected sex. It is also important that the woman isn’t immediately blamed. Either partner can contribute to a lack of viable conception. After 12 months of active sex without any form of birth control, this condition is generally diagnosed.
While around 10 percent of women in the United States have difficulty getting or staying pregnant, many fail to realize that nearly half of these cases stem from problems associated with the male partner. Now the question is: how do men contribute to this growing problem of infertility, both in the United States and worldwide?
How men contribute to infertility problems
It may sound simplistic, but semen and sperm play a critical role in a woman’s ability to conceive. While the woman produces the egg, without viable sperm, the egg cannot be effectively fertilized. There are several reasons why men may contribute to the problem of infertility without even realizing it.
There is an epidemic in both America and around the globe. For what could be many reasons, the average male sperm count has been dropping. And when a sperm count reaches 15 million or less, a couple can have a difficult time conceiving. Low sperm mobility is also a problem. A sperm must be able to swim well to reach the egg. If it has problems doing so, then it increases the chances that an egg will not reach fertilization.
Abnormal sperm also creates a problem. If a sperm has an unusual shape – for whatever reason – it will have a harder time reaching and penetrating the egg to cause fertilization. When a sperm does not have the right shape, it cannot travel as rapidly as it needs to in order to reach the egg. It is thought that up to 2 percent of men may have what is termed ‘suboptimal sperm.’
But what causes abnormal sperm? Whether it be a testicular infection, surgery, cancer, or even ejaculation disorders, all of these can contribute to sperm that is unable to effectively fertilize an egg.
Another oft-overlooked problem is that of overheated testicles. Consider how many men work with a laptop on their lap. The heat from the battery, when constant, can overheat the testicles leading to abnormal sperm. Infertility results. Even overuse of saunas, hot tubs, or working in extremely hot environments can damage sperm and result in male infertility.
Men can also suffer from genetic factors that can prevent their testicles from developing normal sperm. If a man has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome, also known as Klinefelter’s syndrome, this can lead to fertility problems.
Finally, men can also suffer from hormonal problems. In men, a condition called hypogonadism can lead to a testosterone deficiency, ultimately creating fertility problems. Hypogonadism is essentially a situation in which either the size or function of the testicles prevents testosterone from being produced at normal levels.
Here at Couri & Smyth Health for Life Medical Center, we specialize in treating infertility for both men and women. If you are a couple having problems conceiving, we have the tools and experience to address the problem from both a male and female perspective. If you are looking for an infertility clinic in Wausau Wisconsin that can help you reach conception regardless of the problem, it’s time to visit our website or give us a call.