The causes for male infertility typically fall into three major categories. In some cases, low sperm volume is the reason for failure to conceive; other causes include low sperm quality and failure to release sperm due to blockages or other physical problems. These conditions may be caused by aging, environmental and DNA damage, illnesses or injuries. In some cases smoking, drug use or excessive alcohol use can significantly reduce both the quantity and the quality of the sperm produced by the body. The resulting damage can persist even after the offending behaviors have been discontinued.
In most cases, the only symptom of low sperm volume, quality, or blockages in the reproductive system is the failure to conceive. Men suffering from certain genetic disorders and hormonal imbalances may exhibit symptoms including reduced facial and body hair and higher pitched voices; these disorders can often cause infertility as well. Unexplained lumps or swellings in the testicles may be a sign of benign growths that can block the passage of sperm or may indicate the presence of testicular cancer, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Low Sperm Volume
Most doctors recommend that patients suffering from low sperm volume engage in sex no more frequently than once every two to three days in order to allow sperm to build up between ejaculations. Lifestyle changes may also be helpful; vitamin deficiencies and exposure to chemical compounds can often reduce both the quality and the quantity of sperm produced, so eating a healthy diet and avoiding dangerous chemicals can sometimes make a significant difference in male fertility.
Poor Quality of Sperm
Genetic and environmental damage are the primary culprits for men suffering from low quality sperm. X-rays, drug and alcohol use and exposure to mutagenic substances are the most common causes of environmental damage, while a number of genetic diseases and disorders can cause abnormalities and malformations of the sperm that can significantly impact the man’s ability to successfully conceive. Aging is also a factor in both low sperm volume and reduced sperm quality. Medical evidence suggests that patients suffering from low sperm quality can improve their chances of conception by engaging in sexual intercourse more often, as this can help to ensure that the freshest, least damaged sperm are available when the potential for conception exists.
Blockages and Malformations Of Reproductive Ducts
Surgical procedures can often correct blockages and malformations of the male reproductive tract that can prevent conception. In many cases these problems are the easiest to correct and offer the best prognosis for eventual natural conception once the necessary surgery has been performed.
In many cases, technologically advanced treatments including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization may offer hope for men suffering from infertility. Surgical procedures and lifestyle changes can also make a significant difference in the chance of conception and help couples begin their families more quickly and easily.