- Heat can have a detrimental
effect on normal sperm production. It is for this reason that nature has
placed the testicles outside the body in the scrotum rather than in the
abdomen like the ovaries. Some infertile men soak themselves in a bathtub
full of scalding water and emerge looking like lobsters. This can almost
stop sperm production completely. Obese men can also become sterile
because the sagging layers of fat can overheat the testicles. Men whose
jobs involve long hours of sitting, e.g. long distance lorry-drivers may
have infertility due to the increased heat to the genital area.
- Very frequent intercourse can
lead to the demand exceeding the supply. There are quite a number of
infertile men whose sex drive is such that they must ejaculate 2-3 times a
day. This explodes the myth that links infertility to lack of virility. It
can be extremely difficult for these men to reduce their ejaculation rate
to every 48 hours.
- Smoking over 20 cigarettes a
day has been shown to reduce both the sperm count and the sperm motility
to quite a major degree.
- Excessive alcohol intake will
lead to infertility mainly because a man loses both the inclination and
the ability to rise to the occasion! Alcohol can also lower the production
of sperm and of the male hormone testosterone.
- The workaholic husband can
find that fatigue can have similar effects on his interest in intercourse
as excessive alcohol intake.
- Varicocele is a term used to
describe a condition where there are varicose veins around the testicle
and vas deferens. In the case of varicoceles, there is an increase in the
blood flow and temperature around the testicle. Even a small varicocele
may be significant and affect sperm production.
- The presence of excessive
fluid around the testicle is known as a hydrocele.
- There can occasionally be
anatomical defects in the development of the penis. Consequently, during
intercourse and ejaculation the sperm cannot be deposited within the
vagina very easily. Retrograde ejaculation is a rare condition when some
men ejaculate backwards into the bladder. This could be the result of earlier
surgery to the urethra (the outflow tube from the bladder).
- A rectal examination can help
determine whether the prostate gland may be a source of chronic infection.