There are many causes of male infertility and some are not what you might think. Lots of research has been done and continues to be done in the area. Which is especially important now with sperm counts falling worldwide and male infertility affecting 20% of all young men.
Last week we looked at the statistics on male infertility and how complicated the factors are. The statistics are one thing, but why does it happen?
Genetics – There’s not much you can do about it but your genes are a huge factor in determining fertility. Those with a lower natural fertility level need to take more care with the preventable issues.
Diet and exercise – A good diet and healthy weight is important for general health and for sperm. Testosterone production can be impacted by obesity, which in turn impacts sperm production. Exercise keeps you healthy and also boosts mood and stamina – which can help get the job done. Not all exercise though, the “tight cycling shorts” joke may well be true.
Environmental factors – Some studies suggest that increasing amounts of the female sex hormone oestrogen in the water supply – via the contraceptive pill – is a cause of male infertility by compromising testosterone.
Mobile phone radiation – Mounting evidence shows that exposure to the electromagnetic radiation that powers mobile phones and other wireless devices damages sperm. Experts have described the effect as “cooking” sperm.
Smoking – Added to all the reasons why smoking is bad for you is the effect on fertility. Smokers are less fertile themselves, plus passive smoke can make the female partner less likely to conceive.
All these risk factors add up. They combine together to produce a level of fertility, some parts of which can be changed, but others not. The combinations show why it is not a hard and fast science and some people with less than ideal lifestyle factors might have no trouble conceiving, and how the opposite could be true. Added to which are the lesser known factors like mobile radiation.
Many of these risks can be minimised, to give you the best possible chance at conceiving. Some are obvious – like improving health and fitness. Others might seem more complicated. We’ll look more at mobile phone radiation – and how you can avoid it – next week.
Do you think studies will find any new male infertility factors?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!