Article by Primrose Stuart
What is infertility?
Infertility is the inability to conceive after 12 months of having unprotected sexual intercourse. This applies to both men and women below the age of 35 years. Above this age, then the inability to conceive within a period of 6 months is regarded as infertility for women.
Major causes of infertility in men
Infertility do exit in men. Some societies disregard this possibility and focus on the woman as the main reason why there are no children in a stable relationship especially a marriage.
The blame is automatically pointed at the woman without undergoing medical examinations for the couple, to rule out any underlying causes in any one of them. Please bear in mind that there should not be pressure on either side to have children. At times it is just not your time to conceive. We all have a different timeline and it is God who gives children. Having said that, it is worthwhile to have beneficial knowledge in ensuring you are healthy as you prepare your journey to parenthood.
We live in a society where men expressing health concerns may be seen as weak or unpopular. It is okay to acknowledge there may be a problem if there is, seek medical tests and interventions to correct the problem while not under unnecessary pressure.
Key causes of male infertility include:
- Physical causes
Diseases and conditions that cause problems with the sexual function include; diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, drug abuse, kidney failure, exposure to heat in saunas and hot tubs.
- Psychological Causes
Other people suffer from psychological induced sexual dysfunction. Examples include; stress, anxiety, relationship problems, negative sexual experience and sexual performance concerns.
- Diseases and infections
Sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia can contribute to sexual dysfunction.
Numerous forms of cancer can affect the sexual functioning and reproduction system.
Other causes include:
- Genetic defects, inability to release the sperm, cystic fibrosis, overweight, blockage in the testicle, chemotherapy.
- Retrograde ejaculation causes semen to go backwards into the bladder making it hard to get a partner pregnant and this needs medical treatment.
A man in a healthy relationship needs to know it takes two to tangle. Communication is the key. All partners should be willing to build up effective communication, look for answers together. If one is confirmed to have medical complications that lead to infertility then explore a lot of options out there that will help you become a parent. On the other hand patience pays well for some couples. There is hope. Keep a positive mind and take a moment at a time. Have faith.
- Clinical Practice Guidelines for management of Sexual Disorders in Elderly T.S. Sathyanarayana Rao, Abhinav Tandon, Shivanand Manohar, Supriya MathurIndian J Psychiatry. 2018 Feb; 60(Suppl 3): S397–S409. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.224478