Both spouses should take part in a fertility assessment for couples planning to conceive a family. Since pregnancy may only occur in those who ovulate, it is commonly believed that infertility is a “women’s issue.” It’s just not true that this.
Infertility affects those who are born male and those who are born female to the same degree. The first step in having a healthy and happy baby can be a thorough examination of the father’s fertility.
Infertility Stereotypes in Men
Fertility has traditionally been a topic of discourse between women, so many men either don’t know that infertility is an issue or don’t think it applies to them. Male-factor infertility occurs more frequently than most people assume. In 30%-50% of infertility instances, the male partner has a role to play.
The social and cultural pressures are very high. The topic of male fertility has been shunned and avoided for decades. The discourse around this issue has been dominated by toxic masculinity and traditional gender stereotypes and biases. A healthy sperm count is just as crucial as an egg count for a successful pregnancy.
Because of the negative connotations attached to infertility, people who were born male may be reluctant to address it openly. It’s crucial that men learn about the causes of male infertility, the solutions available to them, and the reality that it’s usually not their fault. Nothing they did or didn’t do made it happen. This is a natural result of how their bodies work.
The shift in how we talk about infertility is good news for men and women alike. Including both parties in the discussion improves the likelihood of finding an effective solution.
Causes of Low Fertility in Men
Sperm count, sperm shape and structure, and sperm motility are among the factors considered when determining a man’s fertility. According to studies, low sperm count is responsible for as much as 90% of infertility concerns.
The process of male fertility is remarkable and intricate. The dimensions of a man’s sperm are, in reality, the most reliable indicators of his potential for fatherhood. Although we have found several factors to be associated with semen characteristics, the scientific investigation into this topic is still in its infancy, and the evidence supporting many of these correlations is weak.
Internal and external factors such as age, stress, chronic diseases, infections, and medications, as well as heat or radiation exposure and lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, physical inactivity, or a diet heavy in processed foods and red meat, can all have an impact on these values.
The average male’s reproductive rate drops by 52% between the ages of 30 and 40. Furthermore, compared to men under the age of 25, men aged 45 or older are roughly 13 times more likely to experience a lengthy infertility journey of more than two years.
Diabetes, celiac illness, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, varicocele, spinal muscular atrophy, sickle cell disease, and several STIs and urinary tract infections all have negative effects on fertility. Also, some medications may have an effect. If you take antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antihypertensive medications, or drugs to prevent rejection, you should talk to your doctor and a reproductive specialist before trying to conceive.
If Testing Is Needed, Who Should Do It?
Potential infertility symptoms in men are sometimes harder to spot than in women. Fertility testing is essential for men who are attempting to conceive or planning to establish a family. Check the sperm count and quality before you’ve been attempting to conceive for the recommended 6-12 months.
Or, there are those who aren’t quite ready to start a family just yet, but they have future plans to do so. There are many applications for sperm storage. People who are transitioning genders, serving in the military, or undergoing cancer treatment often choose to freeze their sperm before it degenerates. The health and viability of the sperm being used in this procedure rely on a previous fertility test having been performed.
In addition to heterosexual couples, testing should be done on same-sex couples, men taking testosterone or hormone replacement therapy, and anyone curious about their health status.
The actual fertility test is very easy to perform. Patients seeing a fertility specialist or a doctor for sexual health may be given the option of collecting a sample in the clinic or at home before bringing it in. Alternatively, there are more up-to-date alternatives for self-administered tests that can be sent in the mail.
Bettering the Odds of Conception.
Many of the factors that have a negative effect on male fertility can be mitigated by making positive changes to one’s way of life and health. And there is no shortage of options for boosting a man’s fertility.
However, some approaches can be deceptive. Take care when considering the use of any OTC medication or supplement that claims to improve fertility. It’s also possible for these choices to backfire and cause harm, as is the case with testosterone and anabolic steroids.
Instead, medical professionals advise making healthy lifestyle choices like taking vitamins, eating right, and frequently exercising a top priority. Furthermore, consult a fertility expert without hesitation.
If you’re having trouble conceiving, seeing a fertility specialist can provide light on the state of your sperm, the factors that affect them, and the most effective course of therapy.