A man’s fertility rate generally relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If the amount of sperm a man ejaculates is low or if the sperm is of poor quality, it will be difficult and sometimes impossible for him to impregnate a female.
According to Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, a male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production in the testes or sperm transport.
Certain surgeries, including vasectomy, might prevent you from having sperm in your testicles. Inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or testicular surgeries, prostate surgeries, and large abdominal surgeries performed for testicular and rectal cancers, among others, are also suspect. In most cases, surgery can be performed to either reverse these blockages or to retrieve sperm directly from the epididymis and testicles.
Sperm production or function can be affected by overexposure to certain environmental elements, including:
Extended exposure to benzenes, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting materials and lead might contribute to low sperm counts. Exposure to lead or other heavy metals also can cause infertility.
Radiation or x-rays
Exposure to radiation can reduce sperm production. It can take several years for sperm production to return to normal. With high doses of radiation, sperm production can be permanently reduced. It is being reported that keeping mobile phones in the pocket, close to the upper thigh, is extremely deleterious to sperm production with resulting low sperm count and morphology.
Anabolic steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to decrease. Use of cocaine or marijuana might reduce the number and quality of your sperm as well. Alcohol can lower testosterone levels and cause decreased sperm production.
Certain occupations might be linked with a risk of infertility, including welding or those associated with prolonged sitting, such as truck driving. However, the data to support these associations are inconsistent.
Men who smoke might have a lower sperm count than those who don’t smoke.
Also, obesity can impair fertility in several ways, including directly impacting sperm and by causing hormone changes.
Bisphenol A, an additive to plastics found in many household products, can lower sperm count and motility. A 2008 study in the journal, Fertility and Sterility, showed that men with high concentrations of BPA in their urine also had low sperm counts. Food packaging is a major source of BPA which can seep into foods.
Scientists also noted that rural men who are mostly farmers who are exposed to pesticides tend to have low sperm count. The chemicals runoff gets into tap water and can disrupt hormonal processes.
Cancers and nonmalignant tumours can affect the male reproductive organs directly, through the glands that release hormones related to reproduction, such as the pituitary gland, or through unknown causes. Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat tumours can also affect male fertility.