Infertility is the inability to conceive a child, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. It's a common misconception that women suffer from infertility more than men - in fact, it affects both men and women equally. Around 20% of couples who experience infertility have trouble conceiving because of sperm-related issues. This figure includes men suffering from fertility problems such as low sperm count, and poor sperm quality.
A sperm count of fewer than 15 million per millilitre of semen is considered low, and a sperm count of fewer than 5 million is considered poor. So if your partner has a low or poor sperm count, it may be a sign that he is infertile.
If you have questions about fertility or are having trouble getting pregnant, the first step should be to talk to your doctor. He or she can help you figure out what's causing the problem and what treatment options might be best for you.
Busting the 'Men Can Have a Baby Whenever' Myth
This is a myth that needs to be busted - right now. It's true that theoretically, men can have a baby whenever they want, but it's not always easy. Men have the same biological clocks as women, which means that having a family in your 40s or 50s is possible but more difficult than it would be for someone in their 20s - regardless of gender.
There are also other factors to consider:
Age of both the man and the woman: When it comes to fertility, age matters. Younger couples tend to have more success than older ones because women reach their peak fertility at age 25 and then begin experiencing decreasing fertility each year after that (until around age 34). Men produce sperm throughout their lives, but sperm quality does start declining with age - losing about 1% of its motility per year after puberty begins.
Sperm count: The more sperm you have available for fertilisation, the better your chances will be of conception occurring when you're trying naturally (i.e., no IVF) and/or assisted reproduction methods like IUI or IVF if needed later down the line due to low numbers being found during initial testing procedures performed prior before attempting pregnancy attempts themselves with little success rate results coming back positive!
Infertility in Your 20's
If you're in your 20's and having trouble getting pregnant, it may not necessarily be because of age. Infertility is a complex condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which have nothing to do with the number of years on the calendar.
You may think it's just stress, or hormonal imbalances that are keeping you from becoming pregnant - but many factors contribute to infertility in both men and women.
Age-related chromosome problems
Autoimmune disorders (when your body attacks itself)
Lifestyle Choices - Smoking, Alcohol and Obesity
It's been proven that smoking can reduce the number and quality of sperm, while heavy drinking can affect the way they swim around in semen. Drugs such as cannabis or cocaine can also make it harder to conceive, while being overweight or obese can lower sperm count and may increase the risk of male infertility.
However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is good for general health and well-being, as well as improving your chances of having a baby: try to lose weight if you're overweight; cut down on alcohol if you drink heavily; stop smoking completely if you smoke regular cigarettes; eat healthily by cutting out processed foods full of sugar or additives; get plenty of exercise every day - at least 30 minutes brisk walking five days a week will help burn fat which improves your chances of conceiving naturally.
There's also evidence that stress levels can affect sperm quality and quantity.
A study of male firefighters with high job related stress found lower sperm counts than those in the control group. The researchers said that the findings could be due to negative effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG) – a system that regulates sexual development, sex hormones and reproductive functions – as well as psychological effects such as depression or anxiety.
The same study found that men who experienced moderate to high levels of job stress had significantly reduced concentrations of testosterone in their blood, compared with those who reported low or no job stress.
Another large-scale meta-analysis published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that high anxiety and stress levels were associated with a 44% decrease in sperm concentration (the amount of sperm present in each ejaculation). This means that if you're feeling anxious about having a baby, it could be affecting your fertility.
Male Hormone Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances in the body and the presence of antibodies that attack and damage sperm are also a known cause of infertility in men.
Other causes include genetics and other health issues such as diabetes, substance abuse and smoking, as mentioned above.
Concerns Over Sperm Quality
When it comes to measuring the quality of a man's sperm, there are five primary factors that are considered:
sperm count (how many sperm a man has)
sperm in-fragmentation (whether or not his sperm are all intact)
sperm quality (how well they swim and how long they can live)
sperm motility (how fast they move)
morphology (the shape of his head).
Firstly, men are not necessarily infertile. - they're just fertile in a different way. Fertility is a concept that can be applied to both men and women, because both have it to varying degrees.
It's important for you to understand that infertility isn't something men have; it's something people with male reproductive organs possess, like maleness or femaleness. Men can experience infertility by having sperm that don't swim well enough (or at all), or indeed, by not having any sperm at all.
Sadly, male infertility is a common but often overlooked cause of infertility. In many cases, male factor infertility can be treated and the couple can go on to have a baby. However, many men are under the impression that they will always be fertile, which is simply not true. Men also need to ensure that they are practicing healthy habits, so they can improve their fertility and keep it high throughout their lives.