Male Fertility Issues, Pregancy and Conception Difficulties & General Sperm Health
There are many reasons why a man may have difficulty with fertility. Fortunately, once diagnosed, some of these causes may be treatable. If you have any concerns about your health or about any of the following conditions, you should talk to your health care provider as soon as possible.
Many fertility problems can be related to sperm disorder. Of the millions of sperm normally deposited into the vagina, only a few hundred will get close to the egg and have a chance to fertilize it. Several factors play a role in determining whether or not the sperm will succeed:
- sperm count (number of sperm)
- sperm motility (ability to move)
- forward progression (quality of movement)
- sperm size and shape
A deficiency in any of these factors may cause fertility difficulties. Despite a low sperm count, many men with high-quality sperm may still be fertile. A simple test semen analysis can be done at your doctor's office to determine sperm quality.
A variety of conditions can play in a role in causing sperm disorders
- Immunological disorders
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Medical conditions, lifestyle, and environmental factors
- High temperatures
- Occupational risks
- Diseases, drug use, and medications
Smoking, alcohol, and drug use may also have a negative effect on man's fertility.
- Scrotal varicocele
Varicocele is one of the most commonly identifiable causes of male infertility. Varicocele is a varicose vein around a testicle that may hinder sperm production. It is found in about 15% of normal males and in approximately 40% of infertile men, most often on the left side or simultaneously on both sides.
- Retrograde ejaculation
Retrograde ejaculation involves the ejaculate flowing backward into the bladder instead of leaving the penis.
- Undescended testis
An undescended testis is one that has failed to complete its normal passage from within the abdomen to reach its normal position in the scrotum. This condition is present in about 3% of newborns, with fewer than 1% needing treatment. Testicles that don't descend into the scrotum are not likely to function normally. Because they may not make sperm, they can cause fertility difficulties.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction (ED), sometimes called "impotence," is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The word "impotence" may also be used to describe other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse and reproduction, such as lack of sexual desire and problems with ejaculation or orgasm. An erection is essential for ejaculation.
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