Negative Lifestyle and Environmental Toxicants can Impact Male Reproductive Function

An estimated 35% to 45% of all infertility cases, there is a male factor contributing to the problem. Common causes for male infertility are low sperm count, low sperm motility, bad quality sperms, lack of semen.

Male fertility is a complex process that involves many factors, including the release of hormones that trigger the growth of reproductive organs and the production of sperm. Here are some factors that contribute to male infertility:

1. Alcohol

With alcohol consumption at an all time high, excessive and ongoing alcohol consumption can have an adverse effect on sperm production and quality. However, drinking in excess of the recommended daily units can decrease healthy sperm and damage developing sperm.

2. Industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants

There are many different environmental effects that can be harmful to sperm production. Whether a result of a direct or indirect attack on the system, pollutants such as toxins, chemicals, pesticides and oxygen-free radicals can all reduce sperm counts. Those at greatest risk will be in trades such as fruit or flower harvesting, contracting, livestock treatment, gardening and poultry and dairy farming. Exposure to metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic can also lead to trace amounts of these products being found in the semen and thus sperm production is often lowered.

3. Smoking

Smoking cigarettes has been known to cause a number of health problems, which may possibly include lowering your sperm count, your semen production, and even your libido (sex drive). There are hundreds of toxins in cigarettes that can cause diseases and health problems that will last a lifetime. A low sperm count will increase your chance of infertility and can have profound effects on your overall sex life, including erectile dysfunction.

4.Testicular overheating

Exposure to heat over an extended period of time can have an adverse effect on sperm development. Heat can raise the temperature of the testicles which can cause a decline in sperm levels and scientists have recently discovered a link between high lead levels in semen and low fertility levels.

Several factor that may have an effect on male fertility are traffic pollution, laptops, mobile phones, tight pants and hot tubs, nappies, smoking, overeating, seafood, fast food and driving. The leading causes are low sperm count, low sperm motility, bad quality sperms, lack of semen.

Intense exposure to heat in the workplace (for example, long-distance truck drivers exposed to engine heat; and men working in furnaces or in bakeries), Long soaks in the bath tub, use of laptops, wearing tight fitting underwear, and excessive bicycling can cause the temperature in the scrotum to increase enough to impair sperm production.

5. Too much caffeine

Consuming too much caffeine can cause sterility by reducing sperm count levels. It is also believed that it may cause defective sperm. Couples having trouble getting pregnant might want to cut down on their caffeine intake.

6. Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, also causes male infertility issues. 97% of men with Cystic Fibrosis suffer from anejaculation, or an inability to ejaculate. Other chronic diseases, such as Diabetes and Heart Disease, also cause infertility issues.

7. Radiation

Radiation can be in the form of particles, such as alpha or beta particles, which are emitted from radioactive materials, or waves such as light, heat, radiowaves, microwaves, x-rays and gamma rays.

Exposure to large amounts of radiation however can decrease sperm motility (the ability of the sperm to move and swim) and sperm viability (the percentage of live sperm). Lower amounts of exposure over a long period of time can cause cancer or hereditary defects in descendants.

8. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are one of the main factors relating to drops in sperm counts and sperm motility. STDs, such as gonorrhea, herpes, and chlamydia

9. Medications

Several medications affect male fertility and sex drive, including anti-depressants, high blood pressure medication, and antibiotics. Some medications even prevent sperm from attaching to the egg during conception.

10. Drugs

Drugs – including alcohol, cocaine and marijuana – are all poisons. They can reduce sex drive; damage sperm production; and interfere with ovulation – and sometimes this damage is irreparable Malnutrition and Lack of Supplements

11. Malnutrition and Lack of Supplements

Deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, selenium, zinc, and folate, may be particular risk factors for low sperm count in such cases. Those men trying to conceive are recommended to take vitamin C to prevent sperm from agglutinating (i.e. sticking together). This is especially beneficial to smokers. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin E supplements should also be taken to increase sperm activity and production.

12. Genetic causes

Genetic factors are proving to be important contributors to male infertility. Such genetic conditions may be inherited or caused by environmental assaults. Inherited disorders can genetically impair fertility.

Examples include the following:

Cystic fibrosis patients often have missing or obstructed vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm) and hence a low sperm count.

Klinefelter syndrome patients carry two X and one Y chromosomes (the norm is one X and one Y), which leads to the destruction of the lining of the seminiferous tubules in the testicles during puberty, although most other male physical attributes are unimpaired.

Kartagener syndrome, a rare disorder that is associated with a reversed position of the major organs, also includes immotile cilia (hair-like cells in lungs and sinuses that have a structure similar to the tails of sperm). Germ cells may also be affected by this condition.

13. Obesity

Obesity is also very active in the male genitals, where it plays a key role in male fertility and appears to influence the erection response in male sexual arousal

14. Stress

According to Prof. Ashiru, stress can cause erectile dysfunction or failure in men and if investigated properly, it would be discovered that stress is one major factor responsible for weak penile erection in many men.

High stress levels can cause the body to release the hormone cortisol which is thought to interfere with sperm production. More research into the effects of stress on fertility is currently being conducted.

15. Varicocele

A varicocele is a varicose vein in the cord that connects to the testicle. (A varicose vein is one that is abnormally enlarged and twisted.) Varicoceles are found in 15% to 20% of all men and in 25% to 40% of infertile men. It is not clear how they affect fertility, or even if they do at all. Some theories for their effect include the following:

* Varicoceles may partially obstruct the passages through which sperm pass.

* Varicocele may elevate temperature in the testes.

* Varicoceles may produce higher levels of nitric oxide, a substance
that has certain damaging effects that might injure sperm.

* Varicoceles may block oxygen to the sperm.

Varicoceles have been associated with abnormalities in cellular material in the sperm. One study suggested that some men might have genetic abnormalities that cause both varicoceles and impaired sperm, rather than varicocele itself causing infertility.

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