Almost one in six couples experience fertility problems. Studies show that while 40% of the time infertility is the result of the result of female factors, 40% of the time it's the result of male factors and 20% of the time the result of a combination of both women and men. If you are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant, it is important that the male partner get his sperm checked.
Sperm problems may involve the quantity and/or quality of the sperm. A simple semen analysis can assess basic fertility. This simply involves asking your family doctor for a test requisition and taking a sperm sample to a local lab for testing. Often men feel embarrassed or stressed about providing the sample. There is no need to be as the sample can be collected at home and discretely dropped off at a laboratory near you.
The semen analysis looks at the sperm in three different ways:
- Sperm Count: This is the most important part of the test and the more sperm there is, the better!
- Sperm Motility: This measures the percentage of sperm that is moving in a forward direction -- sperm needs to be able to travel from the vagina to the fallopian tubes where they meet the egg
- Sperm Morphology: This measures the shape of the sperm.It is quite common for men to have lot of abnormally-shaped sperm. Don’t feel too worried if you get this result as no one really knows how much impact this has on your overall fertility.
Common Factors of Male Infertility
The following issues are the most common causes of male factor infertility:
Various structural problems, such as blockages, can obstruct the passage of sperm or impair the ability to produce healthy sperm.
These can result in several conditions, such as:
- Undescended testes
Imbalances caused by a lack of communication between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the testes can affect a man’s ability to produce healthy sperm.
Infection and Disease
Many health conditions or diseases, including diabetes, mumps, and any extended period of high fever, can reduce sperm production. As men are continually producing sperm, the infection effects may be reversible if no scarring or blockage has occurred, which can result in sperm function being restored over time.
Numerous research shows that men’s sperm quality begins to decline around the age of 45
Environmental toxins are at its highest and almost impossible to avoid in many circumstances. Additionally, working at a job where you are exposed to a lot of toxins can adversely affect your sperm count.
Lifestyle factors can have a negative effect on sperm counts. These factors include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Excessive alcohol
- Hot tubs
- Overweight (BMI over 25)