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National Infertility Awareness Week

April 18, 2021

This year, April 18-24 is National Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility affects many people worldwide and can affect all races, genders, and sexualities. Stigmas surrounding infertility are harmful and make the process of family planning even more difficult. This is why National Infertility Awareness Week is working to raise awareness surrounding this subject and shift the conversation. To do our part to help this effort, we’ve included some facts and information about infertility below.

What is male infertility?

Male infertility is any condition in a male that decreases the likelihood of reproduction. Everyone has different situations and circumstances, and lots of factors should be considered when understanding infertility. About 13% of couples have trouble conceiving or are unable to conceive, and about one-third of these cases are attributed to male infertility.

Male infertility can be caused by low sperm counts, difficulty producing semen, or trouble with delivering the semen when trying to reproduce. Environment, diet, hormone levels, genes, and overall health all affect fertility and even small disruptions to the reproductive system can make it more difficult to become pregnant.

What are some causes of male infertility?

To produce healthy sperm that can easily travel throughout the reproductive system, many conditions have to be taken into account. Even small changes such as a difference in temperature can negatively affect one’s ability to make and deliver sperm. Here are some of the most common causes behind male infertility:

  • Sperm Disorders

  • Varicoceles

  • Retrograde Ejaculation

  • Immunologic Infertility

  • Obstruction

  • Hormones

  • Medication

What are sperm disorders?

Sperm disorders are any irregularities in the production of sperm. Some of the most common sperm disorders include sperm not growing fully, becoming oddly shaped, not moving the correct way, or lacking in production, which is to have a low sperm count. Sometimes, there is no sperm production at all.

Sperm disorders can be genetic, but they can also be caused by various lifestyle choices. Smoking, consuming alcohol, and taking certain medications can lower sperm count. Other causes of low sperm count include long-term sickness, past infections, and chromosome or hormone problems, such as low testosterone.

Are there treatments available?

Recommended treatments will depend on what's causing infertility. Many issues that cause male infertility can be fixed with medication or surgery, allowing conception through intercourse. When trying to conceive, you should consider making lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating well, and quitting smoking and drinking to increase your chances. While these changes may not eliminate the issue completely, maintaining your overall health is the first step to taking care of your reproductive system. Male infertility treatment paths include non-surgical therapy, surgical therapy, and drug treatment for unknown causes of infertility. Talk with your urologist at Athens Area Urology about what treatment might be best for your health.

At Athens Area Urology, we know that many challenges can arise while trying to become pregnant. Infertility is a problem that affects countless individuals, but there will always be resources available for family planning and infertility concerns. To find more information about Athens Area Urology and the services we provide, check out our website.

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