In ancient times, it is a common convention that the woman is responsible for infertility however, male infertility is increasingly prevalent at present.
Male infertility has many causes ranging from hormonal imbalances, to physical problems, psychological and/or behavioral problems. The following lifestyle activities negatively influence the sperm production and motility:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption significantly decreases both sperm count and sperm cell motility.
- Prolonged use of marijuana and other recreational drugs.
- Anabolic steroid use leads to testicular shrinkage and infertility.
- Intensive exercise produces high levels of adrenal steroid hormones which cause a testosterone deficiency resulting in infertility.
- Tight underwear increases scrotal temperature which results in decreased sperm production.
- Exposure to environmental hazards and toxins such as pesticides, radiation, radioactive substances, mercury, benzene, boron, and heavy metals.
The other causes of male infertility are:
- Penile factors
- Testicular factors
The Penile factors are:
- Erectile dysfunction- difficulty in penile erection.
- Priapism- persistent and painful erection.
- Balanitis- inflammation of the glans penis (head of penis)
- Peyronie’s disease- scarring of penis
- Penile cancer- tumor growth in the tissues of penis
Common testicular conditions that impair fertility are:
- Testicular trauma- when the testicles hurt by force.
- Testicular torsion- twisting of spermatic cord impedes testicular blood supply leading to ischemia.
- Epididymitis- inflammation of epididymis, the coiled tube at the posterior surface of testis that stores the sperms.
- Hypogonadism- absence or deficiency of male gonadal function, resulting in insufficient testosterone secretion.
- Testicular cancer- growth if tumor in one or more testicles
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