Does Sexual Dysfunction Affect Male Infertility? Signs And Symptoms

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > Does Sexual Dysfunction Affect Male Infertility? Signs and Symptoms

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on February 13, 2022

Trying to start a family, and you are wondering if sexual dysfunction may have an effect on fertility? 

Erectile dysfunction can be an embarrassing condition, but it is also very common. If you are struggling with erectile dysfunction and are looking to start a family, you may be wondering if sexual dysfunction affects male infertility. The good news is that most cases of erectile dysfunction do not affect fertility, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

One of the most important things to know is that erectile dysfunction (ED) is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. So, a lot of the time, the mutual effect of these two (erectile dysfunction and male infertility) on one another can be reversed after treatment.

This blog post will discuss the link between sexual dysfunction and male infertility and offer some tips for overcoming ED.

Erectile Dysfunction: What Causes it?

If you are dealing with erectile dysfunction, it is important to know that there are many different causes and that not all of them are related to infertility. There are treatment options available for both ED and infertility, so you don't have to worry. There are a number of factors that are common causes. Some of them are as follows:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Cancer therapies 
  • Use of antidepressants 
  • Physiological conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress 
  • Smoking 
  • Excess alcohol consumption 
  • Being overweight 
  • Illicit drug use

Sexual dysfunction can have an impact on male fertility, but that doesn't mean you can't have children. If you are experiencing sexual problems and also have one of the possible contributing factors listed above, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal and Treatable?

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study was completed in 1994. Although it is an older study, it is considered to be accurate among medical professionals. Studying the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men was the purpose of this study. The Study showed approximately 52 percent of all men experience some form of ED at least once during their lives; the number of men experiencing ED peaks at around 5% up until the age of 40 but declines considerably with increasing ages after this point - to approximately 15%.

While ED may not be the "norm," it isn't that unusual. If you have sexual dysfunction difficulties, have your physician diagnose the cause.

Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction 

The first step toward diagnosis will be to answer a questionnaire known as the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), which consists of five questions that allow your physician to establish the severity of erectile dysfunction.

You may also undergo a blood test to determine the levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, glucose, prolactin, cholesterol levels, and thyroid hormones, along with a physical examination for the detection of other diseases.

 If you're having difficulty with erectile dysfunction, it might be due to certain medical issues. The same medical issues may lead to infertility.

Male Infertility Symptoms and Causes

If you're a man who's been having trouble getting or maintaining an erection, it's worth considering the possibility that you might also be infertile. Male infertility is caused by a variety of factors. If you're having difficulty with erectile dysfunction, you may have medical issues causing the dysfunction. The same medical issues may lead to infertility. Some of the issues that can lead to male infertility are medical causes, environmental causes, health, and lifestyle choices.

Medical causes

Cancer and malignant tumours are two of the most common causes of infertility. Male reproductive organs can be affected directly by these issues through the release of hormones related to reproduction, such as the pituitary gland, or through unidentified causes. Radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery may adversely affect male fertility in some cases.

Another common medical issue is an undescended testicle. The testicles of some men fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains them (scrotum) during fetal development. Undescended testicles can also cause issues with infertility. Usually, an undescended testicle can be corrected surgically. The testicle is carefully manipulated into the scrotum and stitched in place (orchiopexy) by the surgeon. An open or laparoscopic procedure can be used to perform this operation.

Environmental causes

Male infertility is on the rise, and there are many environmental causes that lead to this problem. One of the main reasons for male infertility is exposure to chemicals and toxins. These pollutants enter our bodies through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. They can cause damage to our reproductive systems, making it difficult or impossible for us to conceive a child. The most common environmental causes are:

  • Overexposure to certain environmental elements such as heat, chemicals, and toxins. This exposure can cause sperm production or function can be reduced.
  • Hazardous chemicals, like industrial chemicals, can accumulate in the epididymis, seminal vesicles, or prostate. Chemicals like these may kill the sperm, change their swimming pattern, or attach to the sperm and be carried to the egg. Sperm have to swim through much of the woman's reproductive tract to reach the egg. If the sperm are weak, the chance of conception is greatly reduced.
  • Conception is difficult with low sperm counts. A solvent, pesticide, herbicide, or paint material can cause this disorder.

If you are worried about being infertile because of environmental factors, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure and improve your fertility.

Lifestyle and Health

Your lifestyle and general health play a major part in infertility. If you participate in any of the following, it may be time to reconsider.

  • Anabolic Steroids: Testicles can shrink, and sperm production can be reduced when anabolic steroids are used to increase muscle strength and growth.
  • Marijuana: The active component of marijuana, THC, interferes with the production of testosterone and may reduce sperm production. Additionally, THC can also have a direct harmful effect on sperm movement. Marijuana is also often laced with heavy metals (such as poisonous lead) to increase its weight.
  • Cocaine: This drug was linked to low sperm counts and low sperm motility in an infertility study conducted in 2013. According to the study, men with sperm counts lower than 20 million per millilitre were twice as likely to have used cocaine in the past two years. There are between 150,00 - 20,000 sperm per millilitre in a normal male.
  • Alcohol: Men who drink heavily are less fertile because heavy drinking lowers testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone and raises estrogen levels, which reduce sperm production. Heavy drinking also leads to shrinking the testes, which then leads to impotence or infertility.
  • Prescribed Medications: If you are taking prescribed alpha-reductase inhibitors to treat prostate enlargement or dutasteride for hair loss, this could cause not only a decrease in your sex drive but also a decrease in semen volume. Consult with your physician before stopping any prescribed medications. 

Men who are suffering from sexual dysfunction or infertility should take a moment to evaluate their lifestyle habits. There is no one cause of male sexual dysfunction, but some factors that may be the culprit include anabolic steroids, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol abuse, prescription medications like alpha-reductase inhibitors for prostate enlargement, and dutasteride for hair loss.

Please consult with your physician before making any changes in the prescribed medication or stopping it completely if you have been diagnosed with these conditions. Experts can help by providing you with education on medical, environmental, health, and lifestyle changes along with fertility treatment options and reproductive counselling services.

 Men who are suffering from sexual dysfunction or infertility should take a moment to evaluate their lifestyle habits.

Is Impotence a Cause of Male Infertility?

Although erectile dysfunction is not usually associated with male infertility, recent studies have shown that there may be a link between the two. The study looked at men who had been diagnosed with both impotence and infertility and found that they were more likely to have a lower percentage of healthy sperm. While the research is still preliminary, it suggests that impotence may be a contributing factor in male infertility. The causes of ED and male infertility may not be directly related, but they may have similar roots and are often seen together.

Some of the most common causes of male infertility are:

  • Sperm abnormalities, low sperm production, or blockages in the sperm delivery system result in male infertility.
  • Men struggling with infertility may also suffer from one or more of the following symptoms: 
  • Having difficulty ejaculating
  • Swelling or pain in the testicles 
  • An abnormal increase in male breast tissue (gynecomastia) 
  • An imbalance in male hormones is reflected in reduced facial hair or body hair

Any of the above-mentioned issues is a medical concern that could be causing erectile dysfunction leading to male infertility.

If you are struggling with both impotence and infertility, talk to your doctor about whether there may be a connection between the two conditions. There may be treatment options available that can help you overcome both problems.

Getting Pregnant with Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

For men with erectile dysfunction who are also concerned about their ability to conceive a child, there are a number of possible treatments that can be explored. Treatment options will vary depending on the underlying cause of the erectile dysfunction. However, some common therapies include prescription medications, penile injections, or penile implants. In some cases, surgery may also be recommended. By working with a healthcare provider, you can determine which treatment is right for you and increase your chances of achieving pregnancy.

If these methods are not sufficient to achieve pregnancy, your options may also include:

  • An artificial insemination procedure involves injecting a donor sperm sample or previously capacitated couple's sperm into the woman's uterus just before she ovulates.
  • In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a procedure used to join the patient's eggs with an improved quality sperm sample in a special laboratory dish under controlled conditions to increase the likelihood of successful fertilization.
  • In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Microinjection (IVF + ICSI). In this specialized procedure, a single sperm is carefully introduced directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg using a microscopic needle via micromanipulation. Due to its disregard for sperm motility as a prerequisite for fertilization, this method offers the highest pregnancy rates.

 There is Help for Erectile Dysfunction and Male Infertility

If you are struggling with both impotence and infertility, talk to your doctor about whether there may be a connection between the two conditions. There may be treatment options available that can help you overcome both problems.

Disclaimer 

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.