Male Infertility & Awareness
When it comes to infertility, women often find themselves at the center of the conversation. But the reality is that it is not a gender-specific issue. Nearly 1 in 7 couples experience infertility, and the male factor plays at least a partial role in up to half of these cases.
Despite male fertility issues being relatively common, many men are reluctant to get tested or treated. This can sometimes be due to feelings of embarrassment or concerns related to their sense of masculinity. Other times though, it can simply stem from a lack of awareness or support.
So let’s talk about male infertility so we can better understand it and help break the stigmas associated with it.
Increasing Awareness of Male Infertility
Unfortunately, there aren’t always obvious signs that point to infertility. Aside from not being able to conceive, there may not be any clear symptoms. This can be true for both men and women.
In some cases however, there may be an underlying problem that does present symptoms. For example swelling, lumps, or pain in the testicle area could indicate a health issue that’s causing infertility. Other signs and symptoms to be aware of include:
- Problems with sexual function
- Decreased facial or body hair
A low sperm count can also be an issue for couples struggling to conceive. Health issues such as urinary tract infections, prostatitis, diabetes, and high blood pressure can all contribute to a low sperm count in men. Also keep in mind that certain lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking, being overweight, or overly intense exercise regimes can have a negative impact on sperm counts and fertility.
When To See A Doctor
It is typically recommended to see a doctor if you have been unable to conceive a child after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. So if you and your partner are struggling to conceive, it is best for you both to get tested to determine any underlying causes.
However, if you or your partner are experiencing any of the issues listed above it’s best to consult with a doctor sooner. Especially if you are experiencing pain or problems during intercourse, or if you or your family have a history of health or sexual problems.
For men, your doctor will likely want to test your sperm counts to ensure it’s in the normal range. If it is below the fertility threshold, they may want to run further tests.
Depending on the underlying issue, your doctor may make specific recommendations on how to raise your sperm counts. This could include lifestyle changes like reducing stress, changing up your diet, losing excessive weight, or quitting drinking or smoking.
The first step in overcoming infertility is to address it. There is still a lot of confusion surrounding male infertility, which can make it hard to feel supported. But so many men around the world experience fertility-related issues, so know you are not alone. Ignoring the issue is not going to solve it. The sooner you are able to determine the cause of infertility, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment and move forward on your journey to parenthood.