Many men dream of finding a partner at some point in their lives, settling down, and starting their own family. However, some may not be able to conceive a child.
About 15% to 20% of couples cannot conceive a child even if they have unprotected sexual intercourse frequently. In over a third of the cases, male infertility is to blame.
Infertility can be disheartening to couples who want to conceive a child. However, there are treatments available to those who suffer from the condition. Most of the time, it can also be avoided by making significant lifestyle changes.
Male Infertility Symptoms: When to See a Doctor
The inability to conceive a child is the main symptom of male infertility, but those who have it may also notice some signs associated with the condition. Some may experience pain or swelling in the testicles, recurrent respiratory infection, inability to smell, decreased facial and body hair, and breast growth.
Men who have difficulties with sexual function, including reduced libido and trouble keeping an erection, may also be diagnosed with infertility.
The best thing to do is to schedule a check-up at a urology clinic. A specialist would be able to conduct tests to diagnose if the patient is infertile and what caused it.
Infertility might also be a symptom of numerous health problems, including an infection that interferes with sperm health, the presence of anti-sperm antibodies, hormone imbalances, chromosome defects, and tumors.
Laptop Use Can Cause Infertility
Excessive use of technology can lead to numerous health problems, including infertility. Experts advise men not to perch their computers on their crotch for long periods because it can raise the temperature of the scrotum and impair the production of sperm.
Sperm does not tolerate heat too well. Sitting in a sauna or a hot tub will also decrease your sperm count, albeit temporarily.
Laptop use may have the same effect on sperm, too.
One study recruited 29 healthy young men (aged 21 t0 35). The participant,s dressed in casual clothing, stayed in a climate-controlled room for two sessions, each lasting for an hour. Some of the participants were given working laptops while the rest received non-working laptops. All participants were asked to balance the laptops on their laps.
The researchers recorded the scrotal temperature of the participants every three minutes. The temperature of the working laptops was also monitored.
They found that, among the men who were given working laptops, there was a significant scrotal temperature increase (about 5 degrees Fahrenheit/2.7 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, the bottom of the working laptops reached a temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit/40 degrees Celsius after an hour of use.
Many people nowadays use their laptops for more than an hour a day for school, work, or leisure. Propping the device on a table will prevent men from becoming infertile.
Smoking and Binge-Drinking Affects Sperm Count
Your vices may cause infertility, according to medical experts.
In particular, smoking has been proven to damage sperm, which makes them unable to fertilize an egg.
One study looked at the sperm of 116 men, 53 of whom are smokers while the rest were nonsmokers. The researchers found that the men who were heavy smokers had reduced protamine 2, a highly-charged protein in human sperm cells. That made their sperm more vulnerable to DNA damage.
What happens is, when a person smokes, their sperm lose the ability to fight free radicals, which causes fragmentation of the DNA. It leads to damaged sperm that is unable to fertilize an egg.
Moreover, smoking increases the concentration of free radicals in the seminal fluid. Even exposure to second-hand smoke can present similar consequences.
Alcohol consumption has also been linked to a decrease in the hormones that are responsible for sperm production.
People who were moderate drinkers in the past should not worry too much. However, if they are trying to conceive, experts say that men should significantly cut back on drinking.
Sitting Down is Killing Your Sperm
Sitting down for long periods is not good for your sperm. One study examined the seminal fluid of men who either exercised or watched television.
Researchers revealed that the sperm count of physically active participants was as much as 73% higher than those who spent hours seated in front of the TV. Guys who parked in front of the TV for more than 20 hours a week also had a 44% lower sperm count than those who had less screen time.
The findings support the claim that being sedentary can lead to male infertility. If a couple wants to conceive, they should add exercising regularly to their routine.
Male infertility can be prevented by making decisions that are good for health. If you and your partner are experiencing difficulties conceiving, see a doctor to identify and address the problem.