Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. 30% of couples trying to conceive will get pregnant in the first month – for the rest, it will take longer. With a third of all infertility cases due to male factor issues and another third attributable to both males and females, infertility is far from a women-only issue. In this guide, we’ll focus on what you, as a male, can do when facing difficulties getting pregnant.
Why test male fertility?
Female fertility testing involves multiple medical assessments, many of which are invasive and expensive. By focusing on your own fertility first, you can potentially pinpoint the cause of infertility in a quicker and more affordable way. Male fertility testing provides you with the information you need about your reproductive health, as well as your overall health, is much less invasive, and can be done even at home. We’ll delve into this later on in this guide.
Steps for men to take when facing fertility issues
- Take stock of your lifestyle and overall health
Do you smoke, drink, or use drugs? Do you spend most of your time at a desk, or are often exposed to harmful chemicals at work? Smoking, excessive alcohol, drug use, and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to infertility. So does heightened stress – this can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect your sperm quality and quantity. Exposure to toxins at work can harm sperm production, too.
Your age is another determining factor: while male fertility declines at a much slower rate than female fertility, advanced age can still impact sperm quality. Health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and sexually transmitted infections, can all affect your reproductive health. Once you’ve taken a deep look into your lifestyle, try to pinpoint if any of these factors may be contributing to the time it’s taking to conceive.
- Take an at-home sperm test
You’re not the only one if the thought of procuring a sperm sample at a clinic breaks you in a sweat. The YO Sperm Test is an easy-to-use device that allows you to test your sperm motility in the comfort and privacy of your own home. The test provides immediate results and records a video of your sperm which you can share with a healthcare provider. The next steps depend on your results. Some sperm issues can be resolved with lifestyle changes and supplements, while others will require additional treatment.
- Consult a urologist
A urologist (or a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), if you’re seeking help as a couple) can help assess your overall health, identify potential causes of infertility, and recommend lifestyle changes or the appropriate treatment for your case. These depend on your fertility assessment and can include medication to improve sperm production, surgery, or procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- Get emotional support
Coping with fertility challenges is often emotionally taxing and may have an impact on your relationship as a couple. Don’t hesitate to seek emotional support from friends, family, or a therapist specializing in infertility. Many couples find that joining support groups or seeking counseling, both together or individually, helps them navigate this challenging journey.
Fertility issues can affect both partners and, as a man, you can take proactive steps to gain knowledge on your reproductive health and feel more empowered along the way. By making lifestyle changes, testing your sperm, and consulting a healthcare professional, you can enhance your chances of achieving your dream of parenthood. And remember: you’re not alone in this journey!