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Factors That Increase the Risk of Male Infertility

Do you want to have kids? Avoid these factors that increase the risk of male infertility — such as cycling, certain illnesses, and extra weight.

“In approximately 30% of couples attending for infertility investigations, ‘a male factor’ is thought to be the likely cause of the infertility,” say the experts at Sims International Fertility Clinic in Dublin, Ireland. “In a further 20% of couples, factors in both the man and the woman are thought to be relevant. It is very important therefore for the doctor to evaluate both partners when considering the reasons and the most appropriate treatment for a couples’ infertility.”

For more info about male factor infertility, click on Male Fertility and Infertility by T.D. Glover and C.L.R. Barratt. And, read on to learn about the factors that increase the risk of male infertility…

Factors That Increase the Risk of Male Infertility

Testicular abnormalities. According to Dr John La Puma, author of Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine, genetic defects on the Y chromosome and chromosomal abnormalities can increase the chances of male factor infertility.

Certain illnesses. If you’ve struggled with cancer, cryptorchidism, variococele, physical groin injuries, hydrocele, or the mumps, then you’re at an increased risk of male infertility.

Oligospermia, azoospermia, or asthenozoospermia. Oligospermia occurs when a man produces few sperm; azoospermia is when no sperm are produced. Asthenozoospermia occurs when a man produces a normal number of sperm, but they have poor motility.

Other testicular causes. Various infections, obstructions, retrograde ejaculations, or hypospadias can cause male infertility.

Laptop computers. The heat generated by laptop computers can harm sperm production and development. To learn more, read Tips for Overcoming Male Infertility Caused by Laptops

Additional Info About Factors That Increase the Risk of Male Infertility

Here are some extra facts about male infertility, from the experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Extra weight. A 20 pound increase in a man’s weight can increase the chances of male factor infertility by about 10%, say.

Substance abuse. Drug use (cocaine and marijuana) can temporarily reduce both the number and the quality of sperm…but alcohol doesn’t appear to affect the quality or quantity of sperm.

Free radicals. Oxidants or free radicals are unstable molecules that are released as a by-product of many natural chemical processes in the body. “Infections, chemicals, and other environmental assaults can produce high levels of these particles…Sperm are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of this oxidation process.” If you’re trying to get a woman pregnant, eat lots of foods with antioxidants! Read Foods That Increase Male Fertility.

Bicycling. The Maryland Medical Center’s doctors say: “Bicycling has been linked to impotence in men and also may affect fertility. Pressure from the bike seat may damage blood vessels and nerves that are responsible for erections. Mountain biking, which involves riding on off-road terrain, exposes the perineum (the region between the scrotum and the anus) to more extreme shocks and vibrations and increases the risk for injuries to the scrotum. One study found that men who mountain bike are far more likely to have scrotal abnormalities, including calcium deposits, cysts, and twisted veins.”

If you have any thoughts or questions on these factors that increase the risk of male infertility, please comment below…

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For a detailed, informative article on factors causing male infertility, go to Infertility in Men on the University of Maryland Medical Center’s patient education pages.

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