Read below to learn about 5 top facts surrounding male fertility, ranging from its causes to testing procedures.
1. Infertility has many causes:
Male infertility is caused by a series of problems that range from chronic illnesses like diabetes, to hormone conditions, to lifestyle factors. Most people with infertility don’t have symptoms until they’re trying to conceive. Up to 40% of all known infertility reported by couples is due to the male factor.
2. A semen analysis gives you important information related to male fertility:
A first step in testing for male factor infertility is a semen analysis. This is a test that measures the semen volume, sperm count, percentage of moving sperm, and shape of the sperm cells. All of these parameters contribute to fertility. It's important to discuss the results of your semen analysis with a healthcare professional who can help to guide you.
3. Lifestyle affects fertility:
Everything from the food you eat and the beverages you drink to the chemicals present in the environment around you can impact your fertility. Your overall health is tied to the quality of your sperm and certain factors, like smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet, and excess alcohol intake can have adverse effects. Luckily, your body produces new sperm often, so supporting your health can result in healthier sperm production.
4. Having a lower sperm count doesn't mean you can't have children:
Depending on your sperm parameters, there are multiple options to help you conceive. Having a low sperm count--also known as oligozoospermia--may make natural conception more difficult, but it is still possible. Other options include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which sperm is placed directly into the uterus, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which injects sperm directly into the egg.
5. Sperm freezing allows men to preserve their fertility:
Men freeze their sperm for a wide variety of reasons, including age, underlying medical conditions, pre-vasectomy, and more. Sperm freezing allows men to preserve their fertility for later use. Frozen sperm can be used in the future for artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.