Family planning can be a stressful time in a marriage.  When my sister and her husband decided they wanted to have kids, after a year of trying and not conceiving they finally decided to consult with a doctor.  For many couples it is not uncommon to take anywhere from six to twelve months to get pregnant.   If conceiving is taking time and causing stress in your marriage there could be an underlying issue compromising your fertility.  In my sisters case consulting with the doctor gave them options to assist in getting pregnant.  Below are common issues the doctor will test for and go over with you during the consultation.

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Common Causes of Male Infertility (And Possible Solutions)

If you or your partner have been trying to conceive for more than a year without any success you could be dealing with infertility. You’ll want to start by talking with your doctor about undergoing a male fertility test to determine if this is, in fact, true. 

If the diagnosis is confirmed, the first step would be trying to identify the underlying cause so it can be effectively treated

Below is a look at some of the most common causes of male infertility and the possible solutions to treating it. 

Hormonal Imbalance

It’s not uncommon to assume that anything related to hormones must be associated with women. Yet, the reality is men have hormones too. When your hormonal systems like the thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary glands are abnormal or out of balance it can cause issues like low testosterone levels. This, unfortunately, makes it difficult to conceive.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalance in men. There are some issues like your diet which can be changed by incorporating more lean protein, green leafy vegetables, and complex carbs. Stress is another culprit, which can be reduced with relaxation techniques and simplifying your life. 

Unfortunately, some hormonal imbalance issues faced by men are due to more serious issues like diabetes, thyroid problems, tumors, trauma, and more. You would need to consult with your doctor and other medical experts to find efficient solutions to treating these conditions first. 

Tubal Blockages

A male’s sperm travels through a number of tubes before being released. Some men experience blockages in these tubes which can limit or prevent sperm from traveling properly. The tubes could be blocked as a result of an infection or from inherited conditions like cystic fibrosis. 

For tubal blockages as a result of an infection like chlamydia, antibiotics may be able to clear it up. In all other cases, however, unblocking the tubes usually can be accomplished with surgery. 

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Sexual Complications

There are a number of issues with sexual intercourse that could impact a man’s fertility. This can include erectile dysfunction, pain during sex, premature ejaculation, or complications within the relationship that could hinder his ability to ejaculate or engage in intercourse. 

If you’re having problems in your relationship, before trying to bring a baby into the situation, its probably best that you try to find a solution to those issues first. Talk with a therapist to see if you and your partner can reconcile and get back on good terms. If, however, you’re having trouble with erectile dysfunction, pain during sex, or premature ejaculation, a fertility specialist can go over your options which can include anything from changing your diet and taking medications to surgeries. 

Medications

While medications are designed to help improve your health and relieve symptoms, they are not without their side effects. Medications for diabetes, long-term use of steroids, cancer treatments, and some antifungal medications can all cause male infertility.   Even caffeine can cause infertility so understanding the effect of what you put in your body is important in this process.

If you do believe your medications could be causing your infertility issues, do not stop taking them. This could have some adverse side effects that cause more harm than good. Instead, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss other possible medications you can use and be weaned off your medications safely. After the medication is out of your system, it is very possible that you could be able to conceive. 

There aren’t too many things that could be more devastating than finding out that you may not be able to conceive a child naturally. If you have been presented with this news, as difficult as it may be, try not to be discouraged. New innovations in the medical and science field have made it possible for more couples to conceive than ever. If unfortunately, there is no treatment for your infertility, you can find comfort in knowing there are several ways you can still start the family you’ve always wanted.