Infertility is a problem that affects about 10% to 15% of couples in the U.S. Having trouble conceiving can be very frustrating and emotionally draining. Of those striving for pregnancy, the problem is generally divided equally among males and females. About one-third of the time men are the source of infertility, one-third of the time it’s women, and the final third is a combination of both or the reason isn’t known.
At KCUC, our experienced team of doctors specializes in male infertility. We know it can be disappointing and can also put a strain on relationships. Here are some common myths about male infertility that may help clear the air.
MYTH: Male Infertility Affects Performance
Often, male infertility is due to a problem with the sperm. A low sperm count, slow swimming sperm, or irregularly shaped sperm, can all be the culprit. However, quantity or quality of sperm have very little to do with a man’s ability to ejaculate. Many men who are infertile have no issues producing semen, the fluid produced by the seminal vesicles that mixes with the sperm. So the act of sex is no different, with or without the sperm.
MYTH: Taking Hormones Increases Fertility
If the problem is low testosterone, one would think that hormone replacement therapy would increase your chances of conceiving. It actually has the opposite effect. Hormone replacement therapy suppresses your testicles’ natural production of sperm, which only makes your infertility issues worse..
MYTH: Weight Has Nothing to Do with Infertility
Your sperm can be affected by your weight. If you are carrying too much weight, it can cause an imbalance in your hormones that leads to fertility issues. Conversely, if you’re too thin, this may affect your sperm count as well as sperm function.
MYTH: Drinking and Smoking Don’t Affect Fertility
Excessive drinking or smoking is never good for your body, but when it comes to fertility, they are both harmful. Both of these activities can lead to poorly functioning sperm, as well as lower-than-normal sperm counts.
MYTH: Lack of Sleep Isn’t an Issue
Not getting the sleep you need each night can have a negative impact on your body, exacerbating fertility issues. Lack of sleep and stress are often seen together and stress can also play a role in your fertility. Researchers conducted a study and found that men who encountered stressful life events two or more times in the previous year had more problems with sperm motility (speed) and morphology (shape) than those who didn’t.
There are numerous causes for male infertility. But the most important step is getting an evaluation. Make an appointment today so we can diagnose the problem. Once we identify the likely cause, we can provide a treatment plan to improve your chances of becoming a parent.
To get started, please contact one of our KCUC locations in the KC Metro, to set up an appointment.