Common Causes of Male Infertility

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Male infertility is a problem that plagues many men in the US Male infertility accounts for about 50% of infertility problems that couples experience, and can be extremely frustrating. Unlike female infertility, which is often times due to a disorder, male infertility is often times linked to physical activities that limit their reproductive abilities, or to the quality of a man's sperm.

There are two main categories of causes for male infertility: pre-testicular, which refer to problems caused outside of the male reproductive system, such as physical injury; and testicular causes, which indicate to sperm quality or disorders within the testes.

Pre-Testicular Causes of Male Infertility

Hypogonadism is the most common cause of male infertility in pretesticular cases. Hypogonadism is a defect in the reproductive system that renders the testes useless for the purposes of reproduction. A lack of hormones leads to defective, little or no sperm, which leads to an infertility problem. Hypogonadism is not reversible, but there are treatments to help increase the hormone levels and in turn, increase the chances for fertility.

Prescription and illicit drug use, along with excess consumption of alcohol, is another common cause of male infertility. Drug and alcohol use is well known to decrease the amount or the quality of a man's sperm, which can lead to problems with conceiving, or congenital defects in the child in the event of a successful conception. Strenuous physical activity, such as horseback riding, bicycle riding, and other activities of the same nature, are also known to cause an increase in fertility problems.

Testicular Causes of Male Infertility

Testicular causes of male infertility refer to disorders or problems that occurred within the tests. The most common testicular problems include bad semen quality, which can be a genetic disorder or a result of an unhealthy lifestyle or abnormal sperm morphology, which is another disorder that directly affects the sperm.

Oligospermia and Azoospermia are two of the most common disorders that lead to testicular causes of male infertility. Oligospermia is a disorder that leaves the male with an unusually low sperm count, making conception extremely difficult or impossible. Oligospermia can be temporary or permanent. Azoospermia reiter to the complete lack of sperm in semen, which can be a genetic disorder, or often times is due to scar tissue in the testes left behind from traumatic injury. While none of these conditions are reversible, some individuals with Oligospermia have been treated with medications that have increased the amount of sperm in their semen, making conception possible.

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Source by Jane N.

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