With Fathers’ Day approaching Doctor Pacheco, Andrology Laboratory Director at IVI Madrid, answers your questions about the peculiarities of male fertility.
Why can’t I become a father?
Even though it is difficult to attribute a percentage of infertility cases to a member of a couple, it is normally considered that 40% relate to male problems, 40% to female problems and the remaining 20 % to mixed causes.
There are a lot of factors that influence male infertility. It may be that the man has genetic or sperm problems, but there are also an increasing number of external factors coming into play: pollution, stress, bad food, drinking and smoking all negatively impact the chances of men when it comes to fathering children.
Does age affect male fertility?
Unlike women, men are not subject to the constant pressure of the biological clock. However, after 40 the amount and quality of male sperm begins to drop. This change gets considerably worse after 50. These factors, added to the age of the woman (if she is over 35) make it even more difficult to become parents, also increasing the chances of genetic alternations.
Can I inherit infertility?
Yes, in those cases in which infertility is genetic in origin, it can be inherited and passed on, in turn, to children.
If I have a vasectomy does this mean that I will become infertile?
After a vasectomy, sperm are no longer expulsed in ejaculation, thus the chances of making someone pregnant is practically 100% eliminated, though you still continue to be fertile. It is a simple technique and an extremely efficient one to control the birth rate; the only problem is that its reversal is not effective in all cases.
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