One third of all infertility problems are caused by the male partner. Though fertility can be seen as a woman’s issue, it’s vital that both men and women get tested if a couple is struggling to conceive.
Reasons for Male Infertility
A man can be infertile for a number of reasons, including:
- STDs – If chlamydia and gonorrhea are left untreated, they can cause infertility in men.
- Hormonal Imbalances – Hormonal imbalances in the pituitary and thyroid glands can cause infertility. Luckily, hormonal imbalances that cause infertility can be treated with medication.
- Blockages or birth defects – It is possible for men to be born with blockages in the testicles. The blockages can prevent sperm from getting into the semen.
- Retrograde ejaculation – Retrograde ejaculation is a disorder where semen doesn’t come out of the penis during ejaculation. Instead, it enters the bladder. This can be caused by diabetes, medications and bladder surgery.
- Excessive exercise – Excessive exercise can lead to a man over-producing too many steroid hormones, which affect fertility.
- Heat Exposure – Taking too many hot baths, sitting with a laptop directly on the lap and sitting in a sauna can affect fertility in men. However, most sperm production is repaired shortly after being exposed to heat.
- Drug Use – Drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine can reduce sperm production.
Getting Tested for Infertility
If you and your partner are struggling to conceive, the first thing to do is see a urologist. The urologist will do a physical exam and a semen analysis. If both exams come back normal, the physician will suggest further testing based on what they find appropriate.