There are wide ranges of factors that may contribute to male infertility, including environmental, lifestyle, hormonal and physical components. These factors may directly impact the production, quality and transfer of sperm; however, once the factors are identified, they can generally be addressed and corrected.
Environmental factors that lead to male infertility refer to the exposure of harmful chemicals in the workplace or place of residence. Most of the time, at home, the exposure is unknowing. Some cases involve the exposure of harmful chemicals while on the job, such as asbestos or synthetic agents. Environmental factors are closely related to lifestyle issues and often overlap in terms of causing male infertility.
Lifestyle issues that contribute to male infertility may include such factors as poor diet, heavy consumption of alcohol on a regular basis, use of tobacco or illicit drugs, and frequent use of a hot tub or sauna. All of these lifestyle factors are known to negatively impact the production and quality of viable sperm.
If one or a combination of these lifestyle factors are found to the reason for infertility, the problem can be reversed by helping the patient take the proper steps to remove the factor that is causing the issue.
Although not as common as many of the other factors that contribute to male infertility, hormonal imbalance is another potential cause. Since hormones control not only the production and maturation of sperm, but also the sex drive, hormonal imbalance should be carefully tended to.
Hormone levels that are too high or too low can make it extremely difficult to conceive. Hormones may be regulated by medication in some cases, while other cases may require that the source of the imbalance be identified and corrected in order for the problem to disappear over time.
Physical problems may also lead to male infertility. Some of the more common physical complications include blockages in the seminal tract, varicocele (a condition that causes an enlargement of particular veins, which increases heat and reduces sperm production), and any medical or genetic issue that gives rise to the prevention of sperm being produced and delivered normally.
While physical problems can be quite complex and more problematic than other causes of male infertility, medical technology has made it possible to treat and approximately nearly all physical impediments through the use of medication, surgery or other assisted reproductive procedures.