Up to 15 percent of couples are infertile. This means they aren’t able to conceive a child, even though they’ve had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In over a third of these couples, male infertility plays a role.
Male infertility is due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility.
Not being able to conceive a child can be stressful and frustrating, but a number of male infertility treatments are available.
Impotence, otherwise known as erectile dysfunction (ED), refers to trouble getting or maintaining an erection. This can make it difficult or impossible to have intercourse. Sterility, also called infertility, refers to an inability to produce or release sperm.
For a man to achieve a full erection, several different organs, including those within the nervous system, muscles, and blood vessels, need to work in a coordinated fashion. Men can have trouble getting an erection if any one of these systems are compromised.
Some major causes for ED include:
- Blood vessel or heart disease
- Depression or other mood disorders
- Stress (including performance anxiety)
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
- High blood pressure or High cholesterol
- Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, or blood pressure–reducing drugs
- Nerve damage
- Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue within the penis)
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol or Drug abuse