A number of diseases can cause male infertility. Few systemic diseases and infections can affect the development of sperm. E.g. Celiac disease which is a digestive disorder, STDs like gonorrhea, HIV can cause decrease in sperm count or cause scarring which can block passage of sperm. Genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, may result in lack of sperm due to missing vas deferens or seminal vesicles.
1. Does cigarette smoke affect semen?
Yes, studies show that men who smoke have a lower sperm count compared to the men who do not smoke. Smoking decreases the size and movement of the sperm and damages their DNA content. Smoking also can affect the seminal fluid, ejaculated with the sperm.
2. Can the use of steroids for body building cause Infertility?
Yes. Steroids taken orally or by injection can impair the production of hormones necessary for sperm production.
3. Does abnormal semen analysis or sperm lead to children with birth defects?
Abnormal semen may not necessarily mean that the child will be born with defects. Couples seeking fertility treatment have the same risk of conceiving a child with a birth defect as the general population. Though, some disorders (especially genetic disorders) that cause infertility may result in an increased risk of conceiving a child with birth defects. It is thus very important that couples undergo thorough evaluation and counseling before proceeding with assisted reproductive techniques.
4. What is the most important to be remembered about male infertility?
In the case of infertility, neither of the partners should be blamed. It is estimated that roughly one-third of infertility cases can be due to male factors, with another one-third due to women. In the remaining one-third of infertile couples, infertility is caused by either a combination of factors, or, in 20 percent of cases, is still unexplained. But today, physicians have the technology and surgical tools to address many infertility problems.