INFERTILITY IN NIGERIAN MEN

Sam was literally perfection. Girls were always queuing up to have a piece of him, he had girlfriends of various shapes, sizes, and colors. Few years down the line, he finished college, got a job and he married a nice girl.  Five years flew by, no baby, not even news of a miscarriage. Sam’s childlessness didn’t go down well with the family, the series of abortions done by Sam’s past lovers was an open secret, there was no way he could be the problem. It was a rude shock to hear he was the one with the issues after his wife spilled the beans because the incessant calls of mockery had gotten to her. Sam was sterile and it was due to an improperly treated STD.

That story probably reminds you of a movie you’ve watched or a book you’ve read, better believe it really happens. The malefactor in infertility accounts for up to 50% of all cases.  Gone are the days when women were thought to be the primary cause of infertility. It is a disease, although not terminal, it could happen to anyone, including you.

INFERTILITY

INTRODUCTION TO INFERTILITY

Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after having regular unprotected sex for a year or longer. The fact that men can also be the root cause of infertility is worthy of reiteration. There are several causes of infertility in men, some can be caused by our regular activities. Here are a few;

  • Over-heated testicles: Working in a hot environment or spending long hours on your computer placed on your lap, can impact the quality and number of sperm.
  • Infections: Infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, etc. if not properly treated, can cause irreversible infertility.
  • Drugs: Use of cocaine, marijuana, anabolic steroids and antibiotics. Some drugs used for the treatment of ulcer and arthritis can impair the production and quality of sperm.
  • Radiation: Exposure to radiation like chemotherapy treatment, can also affect the production of sperm, although it should go back to normal after a short while, but in some cases it can be permanently damaged.

RISK FACTORS OF MALE INFERTILITY

Factors that increase the risk of infertility includes:

  • Obesity : Overweight men can struggle with erectile dysfunction
  • Smoking: Infertility can affect both first hand and second-hand smokers
  • Unprotected sex: It can lead to infections that can cause permanent damage to the reproductive organs.
  • Hot environment: Placing a computer on your lap for extended hours or even tight clothing can make the testicles hot and uncomfortable
  • Over exercising: Engaging in rigorous exercise like cycling, will harm the production of sperm, then when combined with steroids for muscle building, will eventually shrink the size of the testicles.

SYMPTOMS OF MALE INFERTILITY

Some people only realize their fertility status after trying repeatedly for a baby without conception. These are some signs and symptoms that will give you hints about what could be happening:

  • Difficulty with ejaculations
  • Reduced sexual desires
  • Swelling in the testicle area
  • Small firm testicles

TREATMENT OF MALE INFERTILITY

An exact cause for infertility might not be found, but once diagnosed, your doctor should be able to recommend or prescribe treatments

  • Surgery
  • Antibiotics: If an infection is the culprit, then antibiotics will be prescribed
  • Hormonal treatment : If the infertility is caused by an hormonal imbalance, drugs will be given to balance it
  • De-stressing: It’s common to hear pregnancy happens when you’re not thinking about it, taking time out to relax might be the cure for you.
  • Probiotics: these are supplements that can be taken to improve the overall health.

In a nutshell, infertility can happen to any man at any age, but it’s best to maintain a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups should be encouraged.

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