What causes male infertility?
As a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility (REI) specialist here in New York, I work with many couples who are struggling to conceive. One of the most common causes of infertility is male factor infertility, which occurs when a man has difficulty producing healthy, viable sperm. In this article, I will discuss some of the most common causes of male infertility and what can be done to address them.
One of the most common causes of male infertility is low sperm count. This means that a man is producing fewer sperm than is necessary to fertilize an egg. There are many different factors that can contribute to low sperm count, including hormonal imbalances, genetic abnormalities, and certain lifestyle factors such as smoking or exposure to environmental toxins.
Another common cause of male infertility is poor sperm motility. This means that the sperm are not able to swim properly and may not be able to reach and fertilize an egg. Poor sperm motility can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances, genetic abnormalities, and certain medical conditions such as varicocele, which is a swelling of the veins in the scrotum.
Abnormal sperm morphology is another common cause of male infertility. This means that the sperm have an abnormal shape or structure, which can make it difficult for them to fertilize an egg. Abnormal sperm morphology can be caused by genetic abnormalities, exposure to toxins or environmental factors, or certain medical conditions such as testicular cancer.
There are also a variety of lifestyle factors that can contribute to male infertility. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use can all have a negative impact on sperm production and function. Obesity and poor diet can also contribute to male infertility, as can exposure to environmental toxins and radiation.
In order to diagnose male infertility, I will typically conduct a thorough medical history and physical examination, as well as order blood tests and semen analysis to evaluate sperm count, motility, and morphology. Depending on the underlying cause of the infertility, there are a number of different treatment options that may be recommended.
For men with low sperm count, there are a variety of medications and supplements that can be prescribed to help boost sperm production. Hormone therapy may also be recommended to address hormonal imbalances that may be contributing to infertility.
For men with poor sperm motility, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption may be recommended, as well as medications that can improve sperm motility. In some cases, procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended to increase the chances of conception.
For men with abnormal sperm morphology, treatment options may include medications, lifestyle changes, or procedures such as IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg.
It’s important for men who are experiencing infertility to seek the help of an experienced REI specialist. We have the training and expertise necessary to evaluate the underlying causes of male infertility and develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to each patient’s unique needs.
In addition to medical treatment, there are also a number of lifestyle changes that men can make to improve their chances of conceiving. These may include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use, and reducing stress levels through exercise or relaxation techniques.
If you are experiencing male infertility, it’s important to know that you are not alone. There are many treatment options available that can help you achieve your dream of starting a family. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced REI specialist for guidance and support on your journey towards parenthood.