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The Silent Struggle: Male Infertility Problems Explained

November 13, 2021

Male Infertility as a social problem in developing countries is quite complex.

Generally, women tend to bear the brunt when a couple is childless as if they are solely responsible. This attitude must (and can) evolve with awareness of both male and female fertility issues.

What Does Male Infertility Mean?

Some cultures can thus be very unkind to women when a relationship is childless.

The woman bears the responsibility for seeking a solution to a childless marriage.

Many times, attitudes like this result in physical and emotional abuse to the woman, marriage break-ups and even death in some cases.

Given these ideas, men can be less likely to visit a doctor for tests on fertility.

This is because of the stigma or ‘shame’ associated with male infertility.

In many places, men who are ‘shooting blanks’ associate this with a while loss of ‘male prowess’ and masculinity.

If not properly understood, it can cause frustration and depression in the man with an impact on both parties.

There is so little tolerance for the man’s role in fertility problems, so being aware that it can – and does happen is important.

Male infertility

Why Male Infertility Occurs

 It’s important for societies, especially in lower and middle-income countries, to acknowledge that male infertility exists.

This will allow us to deal with it rationally – and part of this starts with understanding why it happens.

This post examines male infertility scenarios.

Most times, it is not the fault of anyone – male or female. But we can identify that something goes wrong in the man’s body, leading to problems falling pregnant.

This piece is about helping couples learn how to work together without blaming each other.

A successful pregnancy requires both a live, healthy egg and sperm, as well as the normal male and female reproductive organs.

Fertilisation is when the sperm meets the egg and create a foetus. To survive, the foetus must plant into the womb’s lining to develop until it is mature enough for birth.

We use the term Infertility when a couple can’t conceive despite regular unprotected sexual intercourse – usually at least 12 months. For older women (>35 years), we may consider the couple infertile if they’ve been trying for fewer than six months.

Without a doubt, infertility from female causes is considered more common, but some estimates suggest that in 1 out of 5 couples, it is solely a male problem.

Challenges with male fertility usually happen due to a loss in the quality and quantity of sperm.

In most cases, the appearance and function of the penis, scrotum and semen will appear perfectly normal.

What are the Causes of Infertility in Males?

Certain scenarios or risk factors can affect an individual’s fertility, whether male or female.

This means that although they alone will not cause infertility if they are present, they can reduce fertility.

They include:

  • Older Age
    • Although this happens less in men than women, growing older goes hand in hand with reducing fertility – Read More.
  • Weight gain
    • Studies show that excessive weight can affect fertility in men.
  • Smoking.
    • There is an association between smoking and reduced semen quality.
  • Alcohol
    • For men, drinking too much alcohol can affect the quality of sperm;
      • (the chief medical officers for the United Kingdom recommend men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spread evenly over three days or more).
  • Environmental factors
    • Exposure (usually through work) to certain pesticides, solvents and metals may affect fertility, particularly in men.

Wrapping Up…

Next time, we’ll look in closer detail at specific conditions that cause male infertility problems

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners to help promote quality healthcare. 

The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Please get in touch with a health practitioner or contact us directly

Image Credits: Unsplash

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