Mens Health Problem – Male Infertility

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive following one year of unsuccessfully conceiving with unprotected intercourse. Because most couples are able to conceive within this one year, physicians are recommending that the people who are not able to do so be checked for fertility problems.

Infertility in males is a common problem within a couple and does not have anything to with virility, but rather the male not having healthy sperm in his semen to meet the ovum. The National Institutes of Health states male fertility is seen in almost 40% of the 2 million married infertile U.S. couples. Fifty percent of these men’s infertility is irreversible and they are not able to father children and a smaller percentage become harder to treat as they continue to go without being treated. Infertility can be caused by a condition found at birth or may develop years later.

In men, illness, a hormone disorder, trauma to the reproductive anatomy, sexual dysfunction or obstruction can permanently or temporarily affect sperm as well as prevent conception. Other causes for infertility may include chemotherapy, infection, medications and testicular cancer.

The diagnosis of infertility typically starts with the male of a couple because male testing and examinations are less complicated. An exam and review of a man’s surgical and medical history are needed because pelvic injury, chronic disease, childhood illness, recreational drug use, reproductive or abdominal organ surgery and medication can all affect fertility. A physical examination may find testicular irregularities or testosterone deficiency. Assessing the history of reproductive-fertility is important. Late or early puberty, STDs and use of lubricants will also be questioned.

A doctor may perform many different tests to determine what is exactly causing an infertility problem. In nearly half of patients suffering infertility, a cause is never found. But even if a cause is not clear, treatment can still be very helpful.

Nutrition, including vitamins and minerals, and a healthy diet are very important for the reproduction system to function properly. Nutritional deficiencies can affect hormone function, stop sperm production and contribute to the growth of abnormal sperm. Supplements can be added to a diet to help increase sperm count and motility. Some of these include arginine, flaxseed oil, L-carnitine, selenium, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc.

Proper nutrition includes:

~eating a natural foods diet focusing on fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, poultry, nut, seeds and legumes.
~drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
~eliminating refined and processed foods
~avoiding hydrogenated oils and saturated fats
~including pumpkin seed in your diet, which are important to the proper functioning of the male reproductive system.

At least 50 percent of male infertility can be treated so conception can be made possible. Treatment is placed into one of three categories: drug therapy, assisted reproduction and surgery. Medication and surgery are the main methods of treating male infertility.

There are many things that a male can do to possibly prevent infertility.

~avoid medications and drugs that are known to cause problems with fertility
~avoid excessive exercising
~never have a vasectomy; even though it may be reversible, it can still cause problems with fertility
~quit smoking; tobacco is known to lead to fertility problems
~avoid frequent use of a hot tub or hot bath
~avoid wearing tight pants or underwear
~eat a diet rich with folic acid and consider a supplement of lycopene
~receive treatment early for a sexually transmitted disease and have regular exams to detect early warnings of abnormalities or infections
~keep diseases, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, under control
~practice safe sex to avoid a sexually transmitted disease
~wear protection covering the scrotum during any athletic activity