Up to 15% of couples have fertility problems. While fertility is largely seen as a women’s issue, the truth is that men contribute to infertility in over one-third of couples struggling to conceive.
Having health issues that limit your fertility can be frustrating, saddening, and even angering. If you and your partner have tried to grow your family without success, it’s time to learn more about the signs of infertility so you can get started on finding treatment that works.
The most obvious sign of male infertility is the inability to get your partner pregnant, but did you know there are other signs that could indicate you have fertility problems? Identifying infertility as early as possible increases your chances of finding a successful treatment plan, and Eric Seaman, MD, and our team can help.
The most common signs of male infertility include the following issues.
Inability to conceive
Up to 60% of couples under the age of 30 are able to conceive within the first three months of having regular, unprotected sex. But your age and your health, along with your partner’s age and health, influence your fertility.
Your chances of experiencing fertility problems goes up as you both get older. Fertility begins declining around age 30 for women, and drops significantly after the age of 35. Age impacts a man’s fertility, too, but the decline is more gradual.
In general, infertility is diagnosed after one year of having unprotected sex without conception. If the woman is over age 35, infertility may be diagnosed after six months of trying. Once you and your partner are diagnosed with infertility, testing is required to determine if it’s caused by male or female infertility, or a blend of both.
Ejaculation is an essential part of sexual intercourse if you’re trying to conceive. The act of ejaculating transports sperm from your body to your partner’s, where it can reach and fertilize an egg.
If you have difficulty achieving climax, or you have a low sperm count, it could be a sign of infertility. No ejaculation means sperm isn’t reaching eggs, and low sperm count simply means there isn’t enough sperm in your semen to achieve pregnancy.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to maintain an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse. The possible causes of ED range from preexisting health conditions to high stress levels, but having ED can cause infertility.
If you struggle to get or keep an erection, having sex isn’t easy. Even if you can have sex, your ejaculations may not be strong enough for sperm to reach an egg and fertilize it.
Sperm is created and stored in your testicles, and healthy testicles are essential for healthy sperm. If you have a lump, pain, or swelling in your testes, it could be a sign of varicoceles or another health issue that’s impacting your fertility.
Small, soft testicles could also indicate infertility. The size of your testicles isn’t directly related to fertility, but unusually small and soft testes could be a sign that something’s wrong with your reproductive system.
Other signs of male infertility
Low testosterone is a common cause of male infertility. Although you can’t know if you have low testosterone without a doctor’s diagnosis, there are a few common symptoms you may notice.
Men with low testosterone can experience:
- Low sex drive
- Gynecomastia (breast tissue growth)
- Decreased facial or body hair
In some men, frequent respiratory infection or the inability to smell could indicate fertility problems.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? Make an appointment to find out if you could be dealing with male infertility. Dr. Seaman and our team offer comprehensive fertility testing to help identify the cause of your fertility problems and recommend a treatment strategy that’s right for you.
Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, at 973-259-6695, or request a confidential consultation online today.