When a couple is unable to conceive after a year of unprotected sex, infertility is likely the problem. Men are as likely to be sterile as women are, according to the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Certain factors can raise the risks of sterility in males. Habits like smoking, drinking and drugs or alcohol are considered chemical causes of sterility. Other factors that might lead to sterility are stress and poor nutrition. If these causes have been ruled out, testicular, hormonal, ejaculatory or sperm transport problems may be the cause.
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The testicles are important components in fertility. They are small, oval-shaped organs that produce testosterone and sperm. Testosterone is a hormone responsible for male characteristics like facial hair and a low voice. It is crucial to erections and libido. Sperm is necessary for fertilizing female eggs. When testicular problems exist, signs like masses on the scrotum, one smaller testicle and little or no sperm might exist. These issues can cause sterility in males. In addition, slightly enlarged breast tissue or undescended testicles are other signs. Testicles that have not naturally descended into the scrotum decrease fertility and can increase the likelihood of cancer, according to the National Library of Medicine.
A male's inability to ejaculate could be the cause of sterility. Ejaculation occurs when an orgasm is achieved and sperm is propelled into a woman's vagina and on to her uterus, where sperm search for eggs to implant. Ejaculatory problems can cause sterility in males. Symptoms that indicate a problem include trouble achieving or maintaining an erection, orgasms that do not result in excretion of semen and unusual urination symptoms. After an orgasm, if urine appears milky or white, ejaculation problems could be the cause.
Hormonal problems are not just a women's issue. Men also have various hormones in their body that can fluctuate and impede normal functions. Factors that affect a male's hormone levels can result in sterility. Clues that indicate such problems include blurred vision, small or soft testicles, impotence, changes in hair growth patterns, voice changes, insomnia, irritability, muscle weakness and advanced maturation in boys. If these or any of the above signs are present, check with your doctor or seek help from a fertility specialist.