What Makes a Man Infertile?
Male infertility, when narrowed all the way down to the bottom line, is based in sperm quality, quantity and motility. It's pretty simple. However, the causes for insufficiency in any of these areas are myriad - with more reasons being discovered regularly. Recently there was some research discussing the effect of soda pop on male fertility, based on a European study of some 2,200 young men in army recruitment.
How are You Living These Days?
Hormonal imbalances, physical problems, psychological and behavioral issues all imply that male fertility has everything to do with a man's overall health. Basically, men who live a healthy lifestyle tend to have healthy sperm. We know that lifestyle choices impact sperm production and you can read in detail about many of them in articles on this site. Below is a list, albeit not all-inclusive, of some negative lifestyle choices that impact male fertility.
· Smoking has been proven to decrease sperm count and motility
· Use of recreational and prescription drugs over a long period of time
· Alcohol abuse
· Anabolic steroid use
· Overdoing it at the gym which causes testosterone deficiency
· Not enough vitamin C and Zinc in the diet
· Tight clothing, particularly underwear
· Hot tubs and hot baths
· Environmental toxin exposure such as pesticides, lead paint, radiation, benzene, heavy metals and others
· Malnutrition and anemia - male anorexia and eating disorders
· Too much stress
Often simple lifestyle changes, dropping old behaviors and adopting new, healthy ones leads to fertility and healthy sperm.
H is for Hormonal
Some male infertility is caused by hormonal problems. In the male anatomy, the hypothalamus-pituitary endocrine system monitors the hormonal links that enable the testes to both produce and disseminate sperm. There are a few things that can go wrong with this system that, in turn, affect a man's fertility.
· An improper release of gonadotrophic-releasing hormone (GnRH) caused by failure of the brain to signal the release. GnRH causes testosterone synthesis and sperm production and if there is no release of the hormone, there is no testosterone stimulation nor sperm production.
· Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulate the testicles and testosterone and sperm production. If the pituitary gland fails to produce enough LH and FSH then the production of testosterone and sperm are negatively affected.
· Leydig cells in the testicles may not produce testosterone when stimulated by LH
· Sometimes a man produces other hormones that run interference with the sex hormone balance.