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What are the Most Common Causes of Male Infertility?

If you and your partner are excited about building a family together, but try as you might, you’re unable to succeed, fertility problems may be to blame. And there’s a good chance that the problem may be on your end — one-third of infertility issues stem from women, one third from men, and the remaining third is a combination of both or causes unknown.

At our practice, board-certified urologist Dr. Eric Seaman and our team help men in the Millburn, New Jersey, area get to the bottom of their fertility problems — and there are many factors that can lead to male infertility. Through thorough evaluations and testing, we can give you the tools you need to build the family of your dreams.

If you suspect that your fertility may play a role in your ability to conceive, here’s a look at the most common causes of infertility to point you in the right direction.

A problem with your sperm

One of the first tests we run is a semen analysis to check your sperm concentration (their overall numbers), their motility (how well they move), and their morphology (their shape). By analyzing these three features, we’re able to narrow down the possible list of suspects.

For example, if we find that your sperm number and shape are abnormal, it may stem from a condition known as varicoceles. The hallmark of varicoceles are enlarged veins on your testicles that overheat, affecting both the shape and number of your sperm.

We may also find that all three of these areas (number, movement, and shape) are affected, which can be brought about by exposure to toxins, such as tobacco, steroids, or certain cancer medications.

As well, if you’ve sustained an especially hard hit to your testicles, it may affect your sperm production. The end result is that you’re not producing sperm in the numbers necessary to facilitate conception.

Again, there are many issues that can affect the three main characteristics of your sperm, but this simple analysis lets us know where to concentrate our efforts.

Failure to drop

Another condition that can lead to fertility problems is a testicle that failed to descend. This condition most often affects one testicle, but it can happen with both. Of course, this condition is obvious by the lack of a testicle in your scrotal sac.

A delivery problem

Even if your sperm has all the right characteristics, there are many problems that can affect their delivery with erectile dysfunction (ED) leading the charge. Erectile dysfunction affects 52% of men in the United States, making it a fairly common problem. And this issue not only affects your sexual health; it can have an obvious impact on your ability to conceive. Along the same vein, premature ejaculation can also lead to infertility problems.

Outside of sexual function, you may have an injury or a congenital defect that blocks your sperm from making their way into your semen.

A hormonal issue

Normal testosterone levels should range between 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) and 800ng/dL. To determine your levels, we take a sample of your blood and run a simple test. Low testosterone levels may correlate with low sperm production, which can lead to infertility issues.

There are many other factors that can lead to male infertility, but these should give you an idea of just how broad this problem can be. The good news is that, as a male fertility specialist, Dr. Seaman can help you get to the bottom of the issue and find the solutions you need.

Simply give us a call to get started or use the online scheduling tool.

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