How Do I Know if My Boyfriend Isn’t Fertile?
Women and men can have fertility problems. For about 20% of infertile couples, both people are having infertility problems.
Infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive (get pregnant) despite the fact they are having regular unprotected sex. Around 84% of couples are able to get pregnant within a year of having regular (every 2 or 3 days) unprotected sex.
Roughly 1 out of 7 couples will have difficulty conceiving.
Unfortunately for couples who have been trying to get pregnant for over 3 years with no success, the chances of conceiving naturally in the following year are around 1 in 4, sometimes even less.
Signs of Potential Infertility in Men.
Symptoms for infertility in men can actually be quite vague. In fact infertility in men can often go unnoticed until they try to have a baby. The symptoms will depend on what is causing infertility.
Some symptoms can include:
- Changes in hair growth
- Changes in sexual desire
- Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles
- Problems with erections and ejaculation
- Small, firm testicles
What are the causes of male infertility?
Most commonly the cause of infertility for men is some sort of problem with sperm such as:
- Low sperm count, which means you have too few or no sperm in your semen.
- Your sperm don't move as well as they should, which is called low sperm motility.
- You have abnormally formed sperm.
- Your sperm ducts are blocked.
- Another common problem is a temporary drop in the amount of sperm you make. This might happen when your testicles get injured. For instance, it could be that your testicles were too hot for too long. Or it might be you were in contact with chemicals or took drugs that affect the way you make sperm.
There are also many other things that can affect a man's fertility such as:
- Age – fertility decreases with age
- Weight – Being obese or overweight (if you have a BMI of 30 or over) can reduce fertility.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – some STIs can affect fertility such as chlamydia.
- Smoking – Smoking can definitely affect fertility. This includes passive smoking. It can reduce semen quality and it can affect the chances of conceiving.
- Alcohol – If you are drinking too much alcohol then that can also affect the quality of sperm (the chief medical officers for the UK recommend adults should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, which should be spread evenly over 3 days or more)
- Environmental factors – Being exposed to some solvents, metals and pesticides has been shown to affect people's fertility this is especially true for men.
- Stress – If you have a lot of stress in your life not only could this affect your relationship with your partner and potentially lower your sex drive, but it could also affect sperm production and ovulation.
- There is no evidence that proves that drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, tea and cola are connected to fertility problems.
As low sperm count is common and affects fertility it is important to understand what could have changed for you to cause this.
There are a few things that can be part of the cause of a low sperm count such as:
- Varicocele: This is a condition in which the veins of the scrotum become enlarged, and this can lead to a decrease in sperm production. In fact, this is a common cause of male infertility and can be found in 35% of men with primary infertility and 75% of men with secondary infertility.
- Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can cause infertility in men. Hormone imbalance alludes to things including testosterone imbalance which can affect sperm production.
- Lifestyle factors: Things like smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, diet, using drugs, being obese and many more can be lifestyle factors that can greatly affect male fertility.
- Genetic factors: There are some genetic factors that can affect fertility and you should be clear on that. One of these conditions Klinefelter syndrome is only one condition that can lead to infertility.
- Infections: Any kind of infection that affects your reproductive system can definitely affect your fertility.
- Medication: Some medications that you may be prescribed can also affect your fertility. Medications such as chemotherapy drugs can have this effect.
- Age: The quantity and quality of a man's sperm may decrease as he gets older and can contribute to problems with infertility.
How can I treat male infertility?
Treating male infertility is absolutely possible!
Some possible treatments for low sperm count include:
- Varicocele surgery: You could have surgery to repair a varicocele which could improve sperm quality and production.
- Hormone replacement therapy: If you have low levels of testosterone it could be suggested to you that you get hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- Antibiotics: If you have an infection that is causing you to have a low sperm count then antibiotics could be prescribed for this and should get rid of the infection.
- Lifestyle changes: You could potentially need to treat a low sperm count with lifestyle changes. Reducing the consumption of alcohol, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are all lifestyle changes that could improve sperm count.
- Medications: There are some medications that you could be given that should stimulate the production of sperm such as clomiphene citrate or gonadotropins.
- Assisted reproductive techniques: In some cases, if other treatments have been unsuccessful, it may be recommended that you try assisted reproductive techniques. This includes donor insemination, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) amongst other techniques.
These treatments unfortunately will not be successful for everybody though. This is when some people may choose to use assisted reproductive techniques.
Can you test male fertility at home?
Whilst infertility could be linked to a multitude of issues one of the leading causes of fertility problems is the quantity or quality of the semen. This is why it is one of the first things that you should test.
Usually testing semen takes place in a clinical laboratory, recently though we have been able to create at-home testing kits. These are far more accessible for most people.
You can get home sperm testing kits either online or even over the counter. They are really easy to use and only require a small semen sample for the test. It will test for sperm motility, count and morphology.
At-home testing kits are great and can get you very quick results but it is good to be aware that they might not be as accurate as regular lab test results. Having said that the Instant Male Fertility Test that you can buy from officialrapidtests.com has an accuracy rating of 98.2%.
How we can help.
We can offer you an at-home sperm testing kit to simplify the whole process. Simply order it online.
The Instant Male Fertility at-home test can detect the sperm concentration in human semen within 5 minutes with 98.2% accuracy.
What comes in the box?
- Collection Cup
- Dilution Buffer
- Test Cassette
- Transfer Device
How does it work?
- Order your Instant Male Fertility Test
Fill in your details and order your test kit online with Free standard delivery.
- Take the test at home in minutes
Follow the instructions on how to perform the non-invasive swab test.
- Receive your result fast - no lab waiting times!
Save the hassle of sending your tests back to a lab.