3 Things To Know About Male Infertility

10 August 2017
 Categories: , Blog

For couples who are having difficulty conceiving, a visit to the fertility clinic may be in order. For couples where the woman is under the age of 35, it's recommended that they visit a specialist after a year of unprotected sex with no conception. For couples where the woman is over 35, a visit is recommended after six months of trying. There are plenty of factors that can affect fertility in both men and women. For those who are having difficulty conceiving here are a few things to know about male infertility.

It's Common

When it comes to infertility, a lot of people think about the issues that affect women including age and low egg counts. However, male fertility issues are also prevalent. Infertility affects an estimated 1 out of every 6 couples with male infertility contributing to around 30% of all infertility cases. Male infertility is far more common than many realize. It can also be complicated. There are a lot of things that can contribute to male infertility including low sperm count and abnormal sperm.

Potential Causes

Determining the cause of male infertility can be difficult. The list of potential causes for male infertility is long and ranges from medical issues to lifestyle choices. Some medical causes of male infertility include varicocele, which is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle, hormone imbalances, chromosome defects, retrograde ejaculation, tumors, and more. Some medical causes can be treated while others cannot. Lifestyle can also play a big role in male fertility. Excess drug and alcohol use can make conception difficult and smoking is known to lower sperm count. Other factors such as obesity and previous sexually transmitted infections can also contribute to male infertility. Environment can also play a role in infertility. Exposure to industrial chemicals, radiation, and heavy metals can contribute to problems with conceiving.

Testing Can Help

While male infertility can be a major issue for couples who are trying to conceive, help is available. Fertility testing is the first step toward identifying the problem and coming up with a possible solution. With insurance, out-of-pocket costs for fertility tests range from $100 to $1,000 on average. Sperm count and motility tests are where most fertility doctors start and those rarely cost more than a couple of hundred dollars. The least invasive tests are done first followed by more invasive testing if needed. 

Male infertility is something that impacts a lot of couples who are attempting to conceive. It's more common than many couples realize and there are plenty of medical issues and lifestyle choices that can contribute to male infertility. The first step is a visit to the fertility clinic in order to undergo fertility testing. A male fertility doctor can discover the cause of infertility and come up with possible treatment options.