What Are the Risk Factors for Male Infertility

What Are the Risk Factors for Male Infertility?

• Smoking. Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals that enter the bloodstream and travel to the male reproductive organs, where these toxic chemicals can directly injure sperm and reduce sperm quality. Smoking is a major risk factor for male infertility.

• Alcohol. The male reproductive system consists of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the testicles. Alcohol from alcoholic beverages interferes with normal functioning of these organs and induces impotence and infertility. In the testicles, alcohol lowers testosterone production from Leydig cells. Heavy consumption of alcohol reduces the blood level of testosterone. Alcohol also blocks the maturation of sperm and decreases sperm quality. In the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, alcohol inhibits the production of hormones related to male reproduction and brings on impotence and male infertility.

• Obesity. Obesity increases the risk of male infertility. Obesity reduces semen quality, alters protein contents in the sperm, and leads to erectile dysfunction. In addition, obesity can change the ratio of hormones in the male reproductive system and raise the temperature in the scrotum, both of which are risk factors for male infertility.

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