Up to 35% infertility cases responsibility lies within the male. This percentage is increasing because male infertility has gotten worse in the past few years so that is why an increasing number of men come to the consultation affected by a male infertility problems. The reasons for this increase can be different: lifestyle changes, increasing of estrogens in the environment or environmental changes.
Male infertility causes
The main male infertility causes are:
- Insufficient sperm production: 90% of male infertility problems are caused by the inability to produce sufficient quantity of sperm. We talk about Azoospermia when there is no sperm production while Oligozoospermia is diagnosed when there is a low sperm production. This doesn’t mean that the man is not fertile. If spermatozoons are healthy and are functional and able to move there are possibilities to get pregnant because one of them is enough to fertilise the woman’s egg.
- Varicocele: is another common male infertility cause. A varicose vein around one of spermatic cords may cause a blood collection in testicles producing a temperature increase in that area. High temperatures decrease sperm production and can lead to a decreased fertility.
- Alterations or obstructions in genital tract: Some men present an alteration or obstruction in ejaculatory canal that prevent an appropriate sperm deposit into the vagina. The obstruction cause may be an infection, a wound, congenital defect or a vasectomy.
It should be also pointed out in this group that some alterations can prevent pregnancy like for example the urinary meatus: “below” its normal location (hypospadias) or “above” it (epispadias), if the penis has too pronounced curvatures, a decrease in its size and extreme obesity.
Male infertility external causes
There is a series of evitable factors to take into consideration in order to reduce the risks of suffering male infertility. Among the external causes that may decrease the semen quality, which can be avoided by man, there are bad eating habits, alcohol consumption, the smoking, drugs and stress. Similarly, obesity, overweight and an unbalanced diet are related to a lower sperm production.