Male infertility is a pressing issue in today’s day and age and needs to be addressed the right way to help a couple conceive to become parents. There could be a lot of reasons that can lead to infertility in men — genetic, physiological or surgical. Low sperm count, an absence of sperms, distorted sperms make a man become infertile. Here are seven modern-day habits that can lead to male infertility.
However, when we talk about secondary infertility we are talking about healthy men who were able to help their partners conceive before. But with age, the sperm quality of the man deteriorates and so conception becomes a challenge. Here are faqs on sperm health and male infertility you always wanted to know about.
Secondary infertility strikes a man as he ages and usually comes to the fore when the couple tries for a second child but are unable to conceive one. But not all men suffer from secondary infertility. A healthy lifestyle, exercise and cutting down on vices like alcohol and tobacco can go a long way in boosting the sperm health of men. But despite doing all the good things, some men do suffer from secondary infertility. We spoke to Dr Rohit Joshi, Urologist, Chairman and Director for Aarna Super speciality hospital, Ahmedabad to know the reasons of secondary infertility in men. Here are a few of them:
- Varicocele: This condition is identified as an abnormal swelling in the scrotum (the pouch that contains the testicles) due to distended veins. In fact, 20 percent of men suffer from infertility due to this condition. The swelling in the scrotum increases the temperature in the testicles due to an increased blood flow to the area. This affects the sperms to a great extent. The high temperature in the testicles either kills the sperms and lowers the count or distorts the healthy ones which fail to help in conception. Here read more about the condition and its treatment options.
- Infections: Certain infections like tuberculosis, mumps, mycoplasma, smallpox, STD can also affect the sperm count by lowering their numbers. These infections are also known to set in infertility in a man by destroying the sperms and affecting its production. Read to know how tuberculosis can cause infertility in women.
- Trauma to the reproductive organs: If the reproductive organs were subjected to any kind of trauma like a genitourinary tract surgery done to correct urinary incontinence, suffered an injury or the presence of a malignant or benign tumours in the prostate or testicles that needed chemotherapy or radiotherapy, all of this can affect sperm count and lead to secondary infertility in men.
- Lifestyle issues: Dependence on tobacco, marijuana and alcohol abuse is a curse to a man’s fertility. If you have been lucky enough to help your partner conceive despite indulging in these vices, things might not be the same the second time around. With age, if you stay put with these vices your sperms are not going to get any healthier and these vices will pave the way for secondary infertility quite naturally. Here are some myths and facts about fertility that everyone should know.
- Certain medications and drugs: Secondary infertility can be drug induced. A list of drugs that can cause the same are spironolactone, cyproterone, ketoconazole, cimetidine, tetracycline, nitrofurantoin, sulfasalazine, tamsulosin, finasteride, colchicine, methadone, methotrexate, phenytoin, thioridazine, calcium channel blockers, and cytotoxic agents. If you have to be dependent on any of these drugs and plan to have babies, talk to your doctor about your conception plans for help.
- Environmental factors: Secondary infertility is not always due to physiological problems or unhealthy diet habits, factors in the environment can also influence the same. Use of pesticides loaded with chemicals; exposure to lead, carbon disulfide and excessive heat call can have an effect on the man’s sperm count and health.
- Psychological: Stress is known to affect your health in more than one way. It definitely doesn’t spare the sperms in any way. Stress leads to impairment in hormonal axis leading to decreased testosterone secretion resulting in decreased spermatogenesis and also affects the morphology of sperms eventually leading to poor fertility. Know how stress affects a man’s sperm count.
- Blood disorders: If you are suffering from a blood disorder, planning a pregnancy might not be the prime focus, but know that certain blood diseases like sickle cell disease, thalassemia, hemochromatosis where there is an overload of iron in the blood can damage other organs and lead to infertility. Even if you birthed a baby with IVF help previously, the second time around with these conditions conception might be difficult.
- Health issues: Type II diabetes and obesity are known to hinder chances of conception. With age, they only make the chances bleaker for a couple to plan baby. As the condition worsens it could give rise to secondary infertility post the first childbirth.
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