General Health & Lifestyle Issues that Affect Male Fertility
Age affects male fertility to some extent but not at the same time or at the same pace as it does in women. A man’s fertility tends to reduce after age 40 due to a variety of factors. These include decreased sperm quantity and quality, an increase in erectile dysfunction, and an increase in genetic defects. Defects can lead to a higher rate of children born with single-gene disorders and other conditions like autism and schizophrenia.
Excessive stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, being overweight and lack of exercise all adversely affect fertility. Infertility itself can sometimes become a long-term, discouraging problem, producing more stress. Additionally, substance abuse like alcohol or drug dependency can be associated with poor health and reduced fertility.
Health conditions affecting reproduction can be infectious, inflammatory, autoimmune diseases, and genetic conditions. Examples are diabetes, thyroid disease, cystic fibrosis, and Klinefelter’s syndrome.
Environmental Exposure to Pesticides and Other Chemicals
Herbicides and insecticides may cause increases in certain reproductive hormones that cause an imbalance in men’s reproductive systems. This can cause issues such as reduced sperm production and testicular cancer. Lead exposure may also cause infertility.