Infertility is a very sensitive topic when discussing it with your partner and the scary part of it is the fact that it could affect either one of you or even both of you. It is, therefore, necessary for both partners to consider themselves for testing and treatment. Although some couples may not experience any symptoms of infertility at all or may not consider some physical conditions as signs of infertility.
Looking out for any sign of infertility is very important as they could serve as indicators that give clues on the root of the problem. In this article, we will be exploring some common signs of infertility in men.
5 signs of infertility that men should look out for
1) Pain or swelling in the testicles
This could be caused by :
Testicular torsion is a condition where the testicle has twisted inside of the scrotum causing an interruption in the flow of blood to the testicle which can lead to failure in the tissue
Testicle infection (Epididymitis) occurs at different ages and is developed from a bacterial infection. It can lead to fever, penile discharge, and blood in the urine.
Hydrocele may not affect a man’s ability to conceive. It is a build-up of fluid around the testicle which is caused by inflammation or injury to the scrotum.
Hernia causes swelling and pain in the testicular region and if left untreated for too long can damage a man’s vas deferens.
Varicocele is caused when veins in the scrotum become enlarged.
2) Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is responsible for about 20–25% of infertility issues with couples. it is linked to hormonal imbalance. Other causes are:
Venous leak: the inability of the vein causing an erection to compress fully. it could be as a result of injury or disease.
Neurovascular function inability of nerves to signal the blood vessels to push blood into the penis to cause an erection. This can be as a result of medications or conditions like diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and spinal cord injury.
Psychological factors like feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, and stress. Erectile dysfunction can be addressed by:
- Switching medications
- Adjusting to a healthier diet and exercising more
- Quitting smoking
- Not using recreational drugs
- Considering counseling
3) Altered sexual desire
When you experience a big change in virility, it could mean a problem with your hormonal health which has been linked to certain causes of infertility in men.
Causes of hormonal problems:
Pituitary tumors are benign tumors that present symptoms of androgen deficiency and even infertility.
Congenital lack of LH/FSH is also referred to as male hypogonadism, it can be acquired from aging, drugs, disease, or other factors. it can be detected through hormonal level analysis.
Anabolic steroid abuse can cause male fertility to decline during use and may have a lasting effect. Steroids should be used strictly base on prescription.
4) Issues with ejaculation and sperm health
If a man is unable to ejaculate, it indicates a problem involving sperm production or physical dysfunction. Sperm production problems include:
Chromosomal or genetic cause right from birth
Undescended testes, a boy’s testes usually descend by the time he reaches 9 months but there are cases where it may not descent at all and can eventually result in torsion, hernia, and testicular cancer.
Torsion and Varicocele as mentioned above.
Medicines and Chemicals: some drugs that may cause male infertility include: calcium channel blockers, cimetidine, nitrofurantoin, chemotherapy agents, and nitrofurantoin can lower the sperm count by disrupting the production process.
Infection, Absence of vas deferens, vasectomy, etc can cause blockage of sperm transport.
while Ejaculation problems could be the result of:
Retrograde : Semen goes directly into the bladder instead of going out of the penis. it doesn’t cause harm but can make it difficult to conceive
Delayed ejaculation about 3% of men struggles with delayed ejaculation.
Spinal cord injury. Depending on the extent of the injury, it can be known to lead to causing retrograde ejaculation or difficulties maintaining an erection.
Nerve damage can get in the way of normal reproductive function as the nerves are not able to signal the body to respond in its usual manner.
5) Small, firm testicles
The condition of the testicles determines the health and quality of the male sperm, size may not be the issue but what’s occurring inside the testicles causes them to be constricted and firm.
If you and your partner have not been able to conceive after trying for a year, there is most likely something that is hindering one or the both of you. Even if you haven’t noticed any obvious symptoms or signs indicating infertility, you can try using natural fertility treatment to increase your chances of conception.