What is Male Infertility? Causes, Effects, Commonality

Updated: Jul 21

Did you know June is World Infertility Awareness Month? Infertility is the inability to reach pregnancy despite timed, unprotected sex. Fertility problems are nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty for; nor are they uncommon. Usually, when we think of infertility, we think about how it affects women, but did you know that 9% of men are affected by infertility? There are a number of reasons men struggle with infertility, however, it's important to know that it is not your fault and you are not alone.


In this blog post, we'll discuss how infertility is diagnosed in men, what are a few common causes of fertility problems in men and what you can do and how you can find support if you are a man struggling with fertility problems.



How is infertility diagnosed in men?

Infertility is clinically defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of intercourse without birth control or other forms of contraception. An official diagnosis is performed by a physician who performs what is called a "male fertility examination." This examination includes a look into medical history, physical examination, general hormone tests and semen analyses, which measure semen volume and sperm number, the ability to move spontaneously and quality of motion.


What causes fertility problems in men?

A variety of medical conditions can contribute to fertility problems in men. 1/3 of fertility problems caused in men can be attributed to reproductive problems. One of the more common causes that lead to infertility in men are issues that affect the testicles and how they work. Male hormone imbalances can also contribute to fertility problems or blockages in the reproductive organs in men. Lastly, low sperm count can also be a factor that affects men's fertility.





What are some signs of infertility in men?

Infertility must be diagnosed by a physician, however, there are a few signs and symptoms that may point to infertility in men.

  • Problems with sexual function: difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated.

  • Reduced sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)

  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area.

  • Recurrent respiratory infections

  • Inability to smell.


What to do if you suspect male infertility

Firstly, remember that you are not alone. Infertility affects men around the world and there are many options available for you that can be offered through medical professionals and therapists.


What to do if you are struggling with male infertility

Infertility struggles can cause strain on mental health. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Therapy and other healthy coping mechanisms can help you and your loved ones through your journey. Male infertility isn't talked about often, but it is an issue that many men around the world struggle with every day. Let's end the stigma.


For more information, check out my infertility support page.


Kindly,

Val



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