Male fertility is the ability of a man to get his woman pregnant easily. Your fertility rate depends on the quality and quantity of your sperm.
If the number of sperm that a man ejaculates is not up to a certain number or the sperm cells have some sort of deformity, it will be difficult and in some cases downright impossible for him to impregnate a woman.
Male infertility is the inability of a man to get a woman pregnant easily and even if he gets a woman pregnant it is with a lot of difficulty. This is usually caused by issues that affect the movement of the sperm, how much sperm is produced or the quality of the sperm.
This article is about how much sperm is produced which is commonly known as sperm count. Here are 10 causes of low sperm count:
1.) Previous Surgeries
Apart from vasectomy (surgery to tie the sperm duct so that a man doesn’t have anymore children) they are other surgeries that can prevent a man producing enough sperm in his testicles, these surgeries include:
- Scrotal or testicular surgeries
- Inguinal hernia repairs
- Abdominal surgeries done for rectal and testicular cancers
- Prostate surgeries
In these cases, surgery can be done to either remove the blocked passage or to collect sperm directly from testicles and epididymis.
2.) Exposure To Industrial Chemicals
This is an environmental cause of low sperm count. Overexposure to industrial chemicals such as: pesticides, xylene, toluene, herbicides, organic solvents and painting materials may result in low sperm count. And exposure to heavy metals like lead and other heavy metals could cause infertility.
For example, scientists have reported that farmers who live in rural areas and are exposed to pesticides and herbicides on regular basis tend to have lower sperm counts than men who live in urban areas. Another issue is the chemicals that seep into water source (ground water or water pipes) and could upset hormonal processes.
3.) Exposure to X-rays or Radiation
The same way exposure to too much radiation or x-rays can cause cancer of the blood (Leukaemia) it can also reduce sperm production when a man is exposed to smaller and more frequent amounts of x-rays or radiation.
This is a serious scenario to avoid because it can take years for sperm production to go back to normal. And high amount of x-ray or radiation can cause sperm production to be permanently low.
There are reports that advise against keeping cell phones in your trouser pocket because it is too close to the upper thighs, and as you know cell phones emit little amount of radiation. So, it is better to be safe than sorry.
4.) Alcohol/Drug Abuse
Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids to increase muscle growth and strength are at risk of low sperm count. This is because steroids use makes the testicles smaller and causes it to reduce or even stop producing sperm.
Excessive cocaine use may also reduce the quality and quantity of your sperm also. As for alcohol, too much consumption reduces testosterone levels which then result in a decrease in how much sperm the testicles produce.
5.) Occupational Causes
There are some occupations that put you more at risk of low sperm count and infertility in general. For example welding and any job that demands you sit down for excessive long periods of time (e.g. truck driving). Even though the data to support it is not consistent, you are still better of know that the risks are there.
6.) Tobacco Smoking
There are some evidences that point to the fact that men who smoke regularly are likely to have lower sperm count than men that hardly smoke cigarettes.
7.) Excess Body Fat
Obesity can affect male fertility in various ways, one of which is negatively affect sperm production because of the hormone changes that excess body fat in men causes.
There is an additive to plastic called Bisphenol – it is found is a lot of household items. It can reduce sperm count and affect sperm motility. A 2008 research study published in Fertility and Sterility journal revealed that men with high amounts of BPA in the urine also had low sperm counts. It is the plastics that are used for packaging foods causes men to ingest BPA.
Non-malignant tumours can directly affect a man’s reproductive organs. This is through the glands that secrete the hormones that affect reproduction. An example is the pituitary glands. There are also unknown causes of these tumours. The treatment of these tumours (e.g. radiation, surgery or chemotherapy) can also affect sperm production.
There you have it – protect yourself in order to stay fertile.