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Concerning Trends in Fertility

Struggles with fertility are often seen as a women’s issue. However, male fertility rates in the US dropped to an unprecedented low in 2017. A study found that from 2007-2017 the sperm count, motility, and volume in males ages 19-38 lessened significantly. More recently released studies support these findings and document a continuing trend. So what’s the cause of these rising rates in male infertility?

It’s Not Me, It’s You | The Causes of Infertility in Males

Weighty consequences

Could extra pounds be preventing conception? A recent study revealed lower sperm counts in overweight males. Lower sperm count contributes to conception issues. A sperm count of less than 15 million per millimeter of semen is considered low. Overweight men create less testosterone and more estrogen, impacting sperm count and quality.

All up in smoke

With smoking comes a range of health issues. Add poor sperm quality and sperm count to the list. Smokers have increased cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol affects the testosterone needed to produce high-quality sperm. The sperm’s motility decreases as well. Most healthcare providers recommend couples stop smoking at least six months before infertility treatment.

Getting your physical activity right

A lack of exercise is a factor in poor sperm quality. However, too much exercise can be equally damaging to fertility. A sedentary life can lead to lower sperm count and motility. Whilst overexertion, in sports, for example, leads to hormonal imbalances known to affect fertility.

Are you feeling OK?

Untreated health conditions could be the cause of infertility. STDs like gonorrhea and HIV cause temporary or permanent infertility. Celiac disease causes infertility when left untreated. Both cancerous and benign tumors also affect the ability to reproduce.

Environmental encounters

Spending years in harsh conditions impacts a person’s long-term health. Exposure or overexposure to hazardous chemicals, metals, radiation, and heat negatively impacts sperm production. In some cases, this results in poor sperm function as well.

A serious but underlooked cause of infertility

Women struggle to conceive and carry to full term when depressed. Could men experience the same struggles? In a 2017 study, 60% of depressed males had a partner who experienced a stillbirth. Another study showed that men who experienced trauma possessed a lower sperm count and motility. Depression is a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction and low libido, which are all tied to infertility.

Look into your health today

Infertility in males in the US continues to rise. For couples trying to conceive, consider all possibilities. Fertility specialists recommend a full assessment of both the male and female parties. Once the causes of infertility are diagnosed, the road to conception becomes easier.

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