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What elements affect male infertility?

Aggiornamento: 31 dic 2022

The issue of male infertility is one that many men are embarrassed of. In his most recent article, senior consultant in obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive medicine Dr. Simone Rofena lists several risk factors that you should avoid in addition to the most common causes of male infertility.

Is male infertility a common problem?

A common disease that affects about 7% of the population is male infertility. For half of these males, infertility has an unknown cause.

What causes male infertility the most frequently?

There are many potential causes of male infertility, including:

One of these is the presence of a varicocele. This is an enlargement of the testicular veins. Although the exact reason for male infertility is unknown, it is believed to be connected to abnormal blood flow.

Another likely factor in infertility is infection. Future reproductive problems could result from STIs as well as infections of the testicles' various parts, including the epididymis and testicles. The testicles may suffer long-lasting damage from infections.

Retrograde ejaculation is a different medical condition that may have an impact on fertility. This happens when sperm after ejaculation doesn't leave the penis and instead returns to the bladder. Certain medications, bladder surgery, diabetes, spinal injuries, and genital injuries can all cause retrograde ejaculation. A number of conditions, such as an injury or an infection, can cause the sperm tubes to clog.

Sometimes sperm is mistaken for an invader by the immune system, which causes it to be attacked by antibodies.

Another reason for male infertility is tumours, both cancerous and non-cancerous. This could happen if tumours directly harm the reproductive system or a gland that produces reproductive hormones. Male infertility could be brought on by hormonal imbalances brought on by hormonal gland issues.

Sperm may be impacted by anabolic steroids, cancer treatments, and pharmaceuticals used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Can hereditary factors affect a man's ability to reproduce?

Yes. In specific situations, a direct link has been found between a man's genetics and a lower sperm count. Men's fertility or sperm count may be impacted by the following genetic disorders and illnesses:

When portions of the genes on the Y-chromosome are deleted, it is known as a Y chromosome microdeletion, which can cause problems with sperm production and other factors that may result in male infertility.

The vas deferens, which transports sperm to the sperm, is absent in males, which is another sign of cystic fibrosis. Most people are aware that the disease affects the lungs. Rarely does cystic fibrosis affect sperm production; in fact, the majority of affected individuals have normal sperm counts. There is no way for the sperm to enter the sperm, which is the problem.

Males who are born with an extra X chromosome have Klinefelter syndrome, also called XXY syndrome. This is among the most common causes of male infertility. Many men with Klinefelter syndrome do not receive treatment until their fertility is assessed because it has little impact on daily life.

Puberty can be absent or delayed in people with Kallmann syndrome, a hereditary condition. One in every 30,000 males are affected, making it extremely rare. Most males who suffer from this condition don't produce sperm and have trouble smelling.

Are there any steps I can take to lower my risk?

Yes. The production of sperm may be affected by lifestyle factors as well as excessive exposure to specific drugs, chemicals, and poisons:

Utilization of alcohol and tobacco products: Men who smoke have lower sperm counts than non-smokers. By lowering testosterone levels and causing erectile dysfunction, alcohol may also have a detrimental effect on male fertility.

Drugs: Using a variety of medications could potentially have an impact on sperm production. Anabolic steroids may result in reduced testosterone levels and shrinkage of the testicles. Cocaine and marijuana use both temporarily lower sperm production.

The production of sperm may be decreased by exposure to industrial chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, paint thinners, and solvents.

The risk of having reproductive problems may potentially increase with excessive radiation exposure, including x-rays or radiation therapy.

Obesity: There are many ways in which obesity may increase the risk of infertility.

With more than 15 years of experience in London, Dr. Simone Rofena is a gynaecologist, obstetrician, and reproductive medicine specialist. Please get in touch with Dr. Rofena if you have any questions about gynaecological or reproductive disorders, male infertility, or anything else.

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