Male infertility is a man's health problems that reduce his ability to help his girlfriend get pregnant. In many causes of infertility in both men and women, a third of cases of infertility are in men. The cause is usually due to problems in the production of sperm or the ability to bring sperm to meet the egg.
1. Reproduction function in men
As with females, male fertility is a complex process. To be able to support his partner's pregnancy, a man needs the following conditions:
First, the male must produce healthy sperm. This is the result of the formation and development of male reproduction from during puberty. At least one of the testicles is capable of functioning effectively as well as the body synthesizes enough testosterone and other hormones to activate and maintain sperm production. After the sperm is produced in the testicles, the tubes will be transported accompanied by mixing with semen and being larly removed from the penis.
The next condition is the need to have a sufficient number of sperm in the semen. Too low a quantity will reduce the likelihood of one of the sperm fertilizing with eggs.
Finally, sperm must be functional and mobility. If the movement is poor or restricts mobility, sperm is difficult to reach or penetrate the egg for fertilization.
2. Causes of infertility in men
2.1. Causes of male infertility due to pathology
Problems that interfere with men's fertility can be a consequence of diseases or interventions in the treatment of other conditions.
- Varicose veins: This condition is when the veins that conduct the testicles are abnormally stretched, which is the most common cause of male infertility. Although the mechanism of varicose veins that cause infertility is unknown, some hypo assumes that it may be related to the conditioning of the testicles, which leads to a decrease in sperm quality.
- Due to infection: Some infectious diseases, including sexuallytransmitted diseases , such as gonorrhea or HIV, can interfere with sperm production, sperm health or can cause scarring that interferes with the movement of sperm in the testeal tubes.
- Ioning problems: Upstream ioning occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of needing to be released from the head of the penis. This can be a symptom of other local or general conditions such as spinal injuries, bladder surgery, prostate, urethra, diabetes mellitus, medication.
- Anti-sperm antibodies: These are cells of the immune system that mistakenly identify sperm as harmful invading antigens and try to destroy them.
- Tumors: Cancer and having benign tumors can directly affect the genitals in men. Some cases require surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy to treat the tumor which can significantly impair fertility in men.
- Testicles do not move down: If during the development of the fetus one or both testicles do not go down from the abdomen into the scrotum, the testicles will be destroyed and fertility is limited.
- Enderthormonal imbalance: Infertility may be caused by end hormone dysfunction of the testicles or end noisy system consisting of the lower hillside, still gland, thyroid gland and astraceous glands. If low testosterone levels are measured,underlying male genital failure diseases should be found.
- Obstruction of the ductosis: The erm can be damaged and blocked due to injury, accident, surgery, infection or abnormal developments such as in cystic fibrosis, heredity. Obstruction can occur in any location, from in the testicles, testes drainage duct, crests, duct tubes to even the urethra.
- Chromosic defects: Genetic disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Kartagener syndrome, cystic fibrosis … causes abnormalities in the development of male reproduction muscles.
- Problems during sexual intercourse: These are the obstacles encountered in maintaining an erection sufficient for sex (erectile dysfunction), premature estm, painful intercourse, ancical abnormalities such as opening the urethra underneath the penis or also psychological problems during intercourse.
- Celiac disease: This is a form of digestive disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten. Moreover, celiac disease can cause male infertility. At that time, fertility can improve after adopting a gluten-free diet.
- Some medications : Testosterone replacement therapy, long-termsteroid use, chemotherapy, antifungal drugs … can reduce sperm production and reduce male fertility.
- Pre-surgery: Some surgeries may leave limited ionables such as inguinal hernia repair, scrotal surgery, testicles, prostate as well as major surgery in the abdomen.
2.2. Causes of male infertility due to the environment
Excessive exposure to certain environmental factors such as high temperatures, toxins and chemicals can reduce production or impair sperm function. These factors include:
- Industrial chemicals: benzenes, toluene, xylene, insecticides, herbicides, organic solvents, paint materials …
- Contact with heavy metals: lead, mercury …
- Radiation or X-rays
- High temperature: Overheating work environment, tight clothing face, frequent sauna, hot bath can reduce sperm quantity.
2.3. Causes of male infertility due to habits, lifestyle
- Drug use: Using cocaine or marijuana can reduce the quantity and quality of sperm.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcohol reduces testosterone levels, causes erectile dysfunction and reduces sperm production. Liver disease caused by excessive drinking can also lead to birth problems.
- Smoking :Men who smoke are observed to have lower sperm numbers than non-smokers. Passive smoking can also affect men's fertility.
- Mental emotions :Frequent anxiety, stress can affect some hormones necessary to produce sperm. Many studies show that the likelihood of pregnancy may be lower if the male sexual girlfriend has severe depression. In addition, psychological disorders in men can cause sexual dysfunction due to decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, delayed estmation or inhibition.
- Weight: Obesity can reduce fertility in many ways, including directly impacting sperm as well as indirectly causing hormone changes.
- Occupation :Some long sitting jobs may be associated with the risk of infertility.
3. When to go to the doctor?
The main sign of male infertility is the inability to help the girlfriend conceive. In addition, there may not be any other obvious signs or symptoms. However, in some cases, if the male has underlying problems such as genetic disorders, endocular imbalances, varicose veins around the testicles or the risk of obstruction of the duct … you should go to the doctor early for intervention.
In addition, men should actively examine the pre-maternity if there are signs and symptoms associated with male infertility including:
- Sexual function problems such as difficulty esacling, decreased libido or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Pain, swelling, discomfort or lumps in the testicles
- Recurrent respiratory infections
- Inability to smell
- Abnormal breast growth
- Reduce hair on the face or body areas
4. How to prevent the risk of infertility in men
There are many causes of uns preventable male infertility; however, you can still prevent some causes by following these tips:
- Quit smoking
- Restrictions on alcohol
- Avoid taking stimulants
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals and toxins
- Maintain a reasonable weight
- Avoid factors that cause prolonged heat accumulation on the inguinal area such as limiting long sitting, not wearing tights, not soaking in hot water, sauna …
- Reduce stress, limit anxiety
In short, infertility in men should be considered a real pathology. Understanding the causes of infertility in men above will help each man prevent himself and partly help guide the right treatment attitude, timely intervention to ensure comprehensive health and well-being. Share99 Assisted Reproduction Center is the leading modern center in Vietnam built and applied a comprehensive treatment process, combining both male and obstetrics and gynecology to provide the optimal plan for each patient. So far, Share99 IVF assisted reproduction center has provided assisted reproduction to over 1000 rare couples with a success rate of 45%-50%. This rate is comparable to developed countries such as the UK, USA, Australia,… With high professional qualifications and experience, Share99 Fertility Center's team of experts is capable of comprehensively and comprehensively deploying the most advanced assisted reproduction techniques today, helping to realize the dream of parenthood of hundreds of families across Vietnam.
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Source: National Guide to Birth Health Services – Ministry of Health
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