When it comes to fertility, the women get the bulk of the blame. However, many older men worry about fertility too as studies suggest that male fertility does change with age. What this means is that when everyone is concerned about the woman’s biological clock, the men are on the timeline too.
What Are the Key Differences Between Female and Male Fertility?
A woman’s fertility declines as she gets older due to her ovaries stopping the production of new eggs after birth. This means that she starts running out of eggs as she ages. When a woman’s body stops producing eggs, she becomes menopausal.
The testes, on the other hand, are designed very differently. The seminiferous tubules in the testes continuously produce sperm daily no matter what the man’s age is. This is why the freshly produced sperm will be healthy and capable of fertilizing an egg. This is why men do not need to worry about the effect of their age on their fertility. However recent research suggests that once the age of male partner is above 40 the chances of chromosomal abnormalities are more and hence the female partner is at increased risk of miscarriage.
While some research studies do state that older men have an increased risk of being infertile, this is just a statistical increase, and it does not indicate a problem with sperm quality. It is usually because of the pedestrian reason that as a man ages, he ends up having sex less frequently, which causes his fertility to decline.
What is Male Infertility?
Studies find that male fertility decline is a factor in 30–40% of infertility cases. Therefore, to put it simply, male infertility is any health issue in a man that decreases the chances of his female partner conceiving a child.
When it comes to fertility, the focus usually remains mostly on women rather than men. Also, due to menstruation and contraception, women tend to go to doctors much earlier. Over the past 40 years, men’s sperm count has dropped by about 60%.
How Common is Male Infertility?
Male infertility accounts for in excess of 50% of the couples who are trying to conceive but have not been successful. About 40% of the time, the issue is female-related. About 40% of the time, it is due to the male factor. In another 20% or so, it is a combination of issues with both partners.
What Are the Symptoms of Male Infertility?
Usually male subfertility is diagnosed by a semen analysis. However there are some symptoms that you could look out for in order to identify whether your partner has male infertility.
- Swelling or pain in or around the genitalia
- Low sex drive
- Trouble getting an erection
- Retrograde ejaculation, a medical condition where the semen enters the bladder instead of coming out during ejaculation.
What Are the Causes for Fertility Issues in Men?
There are various reasons that lead to fertility issues in men.
Medical Issues: Several medical conditions such as infections like epididymitis, orchitis, or some sexually transmitted infections, cancers/tumours can affect the glands that are involved in the process of reproduction. Other medical factors include injury to the testicles or other parts of the reproductive system or even hormone imbalances that can trigger fertility issues in men.
Other Conditions: Chromosomal defects, problems with sexual intercourse or ejaculation, are also common reasons behind male infertility.
Environmental Or Medical History Factors:
Sperm production may be impaired as a result of testosterone replacement therapy, cancer medications or select antifungal medications. Testicular surgeries, prostate surgeries and vasectomies may also block the path of sperm. Over exposure to industrial chemicals, heavy metals, or radiation are key environmental factors that may lead to male fertility.
Lifestyles habits are often the main cause behind male infertility, such as poor nutrition, drugs, smoking, alcohol intake or even obesity can result in poor sperm motility. With extended indulgence and usage, this too can result in fertility issues in men.
What Are the Treatment options Available for Male Infertility?
If the problem is due to poor sperm health, then it can be bettered by taking the following steps:
Quit smoking: Smoking tobacco also decreases the oxygen supply to the body. With the decrease of oxygen comes a lack of nutrients travelling to the testicles.
Eating healthy: Some superfoods help with sperm health, such as spinach, eggs, dark chocolate, asparagus, broccoli, walnuts, garlic, pumpkin seeds, bananas, and foods rich in zinc.
Keep electronics off your lap: Keeping the laptop off your lap or the smartphone a little away from your pant pockets can significantly affect your sperm health.
Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol reduced sperm production and causes sperm abnormalities. If you cannot avoid it altogether, cut down on the intake.
Control your caffeine intake: An excess of caffeine can lower sperm count, as well as concentration. Furthermore, caffeine is limited to coffee and includes sodas, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate.
Dealing with male infertility without medical help can be challenging at times. Nevertheless, with advanced fertility care, men can now get the aid they need to ease their problems while getting better treatments and results.
Looking for a Recommendation?
If you are experiencing infertility issues and wish to find out if IVF is the right treatment option for your needs, feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr Vyjayanthi, Clinician in Charge at MotherToBe, a top fertility centre in Hyderabad. During the consultation, we will discuss your personal struggles with getting pregnant whilst evaluating you as a candidate for fertility treatment. If you live in and around Hyderabad and are keen to know more about IVF treatments, be sure to contact MotherToBe’s team of fertility specialists who can ensure that your dream of starting your family can soon become a reality.
Read more : Getting Pregnant After 40, What Are The Chances?