When your doctor tells you that you’re infertile, you’ll most likely want to know what’s making you infertile. There are many causes of reduced fertility in men, although in many cases, it’s idiopathic. This means that you’re suffering from unexplained infertility, so the cause is unknown.
If we look at the different factors that can make men lose their ability to father children, we can classify these factors into four major causes.
Here are the top 4 reasons why you’re infertile.
1. Hypothalamic or Pituitary Disorders
Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland produce hormones that are crucial to various bodily functions including your reproductive and sexual functions. Oxytocin and dopamine are just two of the many hormones that your hypothalamus produces. Both these hormones play important roles in regulating sexual arousal and behavior.
In addition, your hypothalamus also produces hormones that regulate gonadal activity. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, for example, is a hormone that controls the production and release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Both LH and FSH are produced by your pituitary gland, and these two hormones act directly on your testicles to stimulate testosterone and sperm production. Hence, if there’s any problem with your hypothalamus or your pituitary gland, the secretion of these hormones would be negatively impacted.
Not only will that result in a hormonal imbalance but it will also affect your sexual and reproductive health. Insufficient production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone during puberty will mean that your sexual development and maturation will be impaired. Insufficient or abnormal production of LH and FSH will mean that your testicular function will be impacted.
2. Gonad Disorder
When you have a gonad disorder, it means that the structure or function of your gonads is impaired. Because your gonads are the ones that are primarily responsible for the production of your gametes or spermatozoa, any disorder affecting your testes will naturally have adverse effects on your reproductive and even sexual capacity.
Hypogonadism and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism are two of the most common types of gonad disorders. The former is a condition that almost always results in infertility since it causes your testicles to produce insufficient testosterone and sperm. The latter is a type of hypogonadism that occurs due to a problem with either your pituitary or hypothalamus.
Gonadal dysgenesis is another type of a gonad disorder. It’s a congenital condition that occurs when your gonads do not properly develop. The defective development of the gonads is usually caused by abnormal sex chromosomes or genetic alterations that affect the formation of your gonads.
The problem with gonadal dysgenesis is that the cells and tissues in your testicles are replaced by functionless fibrous tissues which are called streak gonads. This means that you don’t produce testosterone or sperm simply because you don’t have any of the cells that produce those.
Gonadal dysgenesis always results in infertility. In women, the condition results in a non-functional ovary, which also leads to infertility. In men with gonadal dysgenesis, undescended testicles are also common. If you have a mixed gonadal dysgenesis, one of your testes is undescended and the other is a streak gonad.
3. Sperm Transport Disorder
Around 10% to 20% of male infertility is due to a disorder in the sperm transport mechanism. The spermatozoa that are produced by your testes need to be transported to your epididymis where they are stored for maturation.
After their stay in the epididymis, your spermatozoa are then transported to your vas deferens, where your sperm gets mixed with your seminal fluid. When you ejaculate, the spermatozoa in your vas deferens gets transported to your urethra and then propelled out of your penis.
If any of these tubes are blocked, defective, or even missing, then you will most likely either have a reduced number of sperm in your ejaculate or there will be no live sperm mixed with your semen. This is the case when you have a vasectomy, wherein part of your vas deferens gets cut off, tied, or sealed, thereby blocking your sperm’s path.
Other types of sperm transport problems involve blockages in the epididymis, vas deferens, or urethra. These blockages usually result in what’s called obstructive azoospermia, a condition wherein due to the obstruction or blockage, no sperm is able to join your seminal fluid.
Sperm transport disorders are not always congenital disorders. Trauma to the reproductive tract may cause a blockage in the tubes that transport your sperm. Inflammations in your epididymis or urethra caused by a sexually transmitted infection can also result in blockages due to scar formation in these delicate tubes.
4. Idiopathic Male Infertility
When the cause of your diminished ability to father children is unknown, doctors call it idiopathic male infertility. It means that you don’t have any of the usual or obvious causes of male infertility so your doctor can’t explain why your sperm parameters are abnormal and you can’t conceive.
When you have idiopathic male infertility, your testicles may be physically present and functioning, your hormone levels may be balanced, your sperm transport tubes may also be present and functioning. And yet, for some reason, your semen analysis shows abnormalities such as low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or high numbers of abnormal sperm.
Research indicates that there are several factors that may contribute to idiopathic male infertility. These include high reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress levels. Studies show that even if your hormonal levels are balanced and your testicles are producing sperm efficiently, your sperm health will suffer if your oxidative stress levels are high.
Enhancing Men’s Fertility
One way that you can combat infertility is by taking antioxidant supplements that can increase your antioxidant capacity so that your spermatozoa are protected from oxidative stress. For instance, you can take Malegenix, a male sex enhancement supplement that’s composed of antioxidant-rich herbal ingredients like maca and Tribulus terrestris.
Both maca and Tribulus terrestris are scientifically proven to enhance semen quality. Malegenix also contains Tongkat Ali, another herbal remedy that has also been proven to benefit men with idiopathic infertility.
Other herbs included in the unique formula of Malegenix include horny goat weed, damiana, and muira puama. These natural ingredients are also known to dramatically enhance men’s sexual performance.