As every couple is different, their reasons for infertility can vary. In the case of male factor infertility, the issue can result from physical/psychological conditions and certain diseases. But that’s not always the case. Did you know that certain lifestyle factors can enter the equation, too? Here’s a look at a few of them:
Drug use: Some steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can have unintended consequences. They can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to wane at the same time. Cocaine and marijuana use may also impact sperm quality and quantity.
Alcohol use: Do you enjoy a few drinks every night? You might want to rethink your habit if you want to up your chances of conception. Alcohol consumption can lower testosterone levels, cause erectile dysfunction and curb sperm production. In more extreme cases, liver disease caused by abuse also may lead to fertility problems.
Tobacco smoking: Here’s another reason to kick the habit. Men who smoke may have a lower sperm count than their non-smoker peers. Secondhand smoke can also impact male fertility.
Emotional stress: Stressed out at work? Such duress can interfere with certain hormones necessary for sperm production. Severe or prolonged emotional stress can affect sperm count as well.
Depression: Experts have noted that likelihood of pregnancy may be lower if a male partner has severe depression. In addition, living in this mental state may cause sexual dysfunction due to reduced libido, erectile dysfunction or delayed or inhibited ejaculation.
Weight: Carrying a spare tire around the middle? Obesity is often associated with lower sperm production and can cause hormone changes that reduce male fertility.
The bottom line? In some cases, lifestyle changes can help boost your chance of conception. It’s also a good idea to get an expert opinion, especially if you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for several months to no avail. The good news is that male infertility is often treatable.