Male infertility is on the rise across the globe with average sperm counts dropping by more than 50 percent over the past 40 years.
Many diagnosed with male infertility often have no idea what is causing it.
Although male infertility has established itself as a prevalent and growing issue, it often goes unaddressed.
There are numerous factors that affect fertility, but environmental causes in particular may create a staggering impact on the body’s ability to conceive.
Recognizing these environmental factors and their effects on your body can make a significant difference if you’re struggling with infertility.
If you’re interested in changing your lifestyle to address your reproductive health issues, you may benefit from natural treatment options for male infertility.
Let’s delve into the different kinds of environmental factors that may be causing your male infertility.
What Is Male Infertility?
Simply put, male infertility is the inability to conceive despite frequent and unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer.
There are many possible causes of male infertility.
Low sperm production or abnormal sperm function may be the culprit, and they can be influenced by everyday lifestyle choices.
Symptoms Of Male Infertility
Male infertility often shows no signs other than simply not being able to conceive a child.
Occasionally there are symptoms associated with male infertility, such as erectile dysfunction, difficulty with ejaculation, discomfort or swelling in the testicular area, and recurring respiratory infections.
Factors That Contribute To Male Infertility
There are a number of environmental factors that contribute to male infertility.
If any of the following are present in your life and you’re experiencing male infertility, there may be a causal relationship.
We all know the negative side effects that come from smoking cigarettes.
However, did you know that cigarette smoke can lead to male infertility?
Men who smoke have a lower sperm count, decreased sperm function, and a higher concentration of abnormally formed sperm.
Prenatal exposure to smoke can also lead to future issues with fertility and reproductive health.
Although smoking is not likely to be the sole cause of male infertility, it is a significant contributing factor.
2. Endocrine disruption
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, also known as EDCs, are everywhere in our society.
Some common EDCs that you may recognize are phthalates, triclosan, and BPAs, which are found in many kinds of plastic.
EDCs interfere with your endocrine system, which regulates your body’s hormones.
Even the smallest exposure can lead to serious consequences down the road for your whole body, from your brain to your reproductive system.
3. Chronic stress
Chronic stress is incredibly harmful to your health, and its role in your fertility is no different.
Stress may affect the concentration and quality of your sperm, thereby contributing to issues with conception.
Even if you’re otherwise healthy, the impact of chronic stress on your hormones can interfere with your sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
4. Hormone imbalance
Male infertility can result from low testosterone or other imbalances in your hormonal system.
Your hormone balance is affected by diet, stress, alcohol use, and the aforementioned endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
If your hormones are out of whack, your sperm count and quality will be as well.
Some signs that you’re experiencing a hormonal imbalance include erectile dysfunction, low libido, and excessive hair growth.
As instances of male infertility have been on the rise, so have obesity rates.
Obesity in men means lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels, which affect how testes – and, as a result, sperm – function.
This is because excess adipose tissue increases the activity of an enzyme called aromatase, leading to the hyperconversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Along with impaired sperm quality, obesity may also introduce the issue of sexual dysfunction.
Contact Annex Naturopathic
With male infertility rates rising and showing no sign of stopping, we have to embrace the conversation about how to address it.
Dealing with infertility can be incredibly frustrating, especially when there are often no signs or symptoms, other than the inability to conceive, that could potentially help you figure out the cause.
Recognizing which environmental factors may be affecting your infertility is the first step towards finding a solution.
Here at Annex Naturopathic, we can help you investigate and understand the causes, environmental or otherwise, of your male infertility.
We can also help you take a preventative approach to avoid having to deal with any issues related to your fertility down the line.
Contact Annex Naturopathic to find out what your treatment options are for your male reproductive health concerns today.
Yours in Health,
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND