HOW OFTEN ARE MALE FACTORS INVOLVED?
About one-third of cases of infertility are caused by male factors alone. A combination of male and female factors causes about one-third of cases.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF INFERTILITY?
Infertility can be caused by poor sexual or lifestyle habits that are easily remedied. For example, the couple may be using a sexual lubricant that interferes with the survival of the man's sperm. Or, they may not be having sex often enough. Other easily treated illnesses or lifestyle habits that may contribute to infertility are:
• Heavy use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
• Starvation diets or anorexia in the woman.
• Tight underwear or pants in the man, which raises the crotch temperature and reduces sperm count.
• Stress. In a woman, this may cause her periods to be irregular. In a man, stress may reduce his sperm count.
Changing the timing of sex and the couple's sexual techniques may also increase the chance of pregnancy. Sometimes the semen from the man fails to reach the woman's cervix. Placing a pillow under the woman's hips after intercourse may help prevent spillage of semen.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?
Though there is no specific time frame as to when to consult your doctor but you can see your doctor if the pregnancy does not take place even after one year of unprotected intercourse.
HOW IS INFERTILITY EVALUATED?
Your doctor will obtain your medical history, examine you and test your semen at least twice. A semen analysis can tell your doctor about your sperm count and sperm quality. These are important parts of fertility.
IS MALE INFERTILITY TREATABLE?
More than one-half of cases of male infertility can be corrected. Treatment may help a couple get pregnant through normal sexual intercourse.