It is estimated that more than 2 million American men are currently infertile. While male infertility can result from a variety of factors, poor sexual health and certain lifestyle habits are among the primary causes of infertility in men. Fortunately, there are some simple changes men can make to improve their reproductive health and combat potential infertility.
What Affects Men's Sexual Health?
Physical disorders, lifestyle habits and environmental factors can be responsible for impairing men's sexual health. Specific factors can include stress and other lifestyle-related factors including malnutrition or obesity, smoking, alcohol and drug use as well as:
- Cancer and it's corresponding treatment, such as chemotherapy
- Congenital diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Kallmann syndrome and hypogonadism
- Exposure to herbicides, insecticides, lead, radiation and / or x-rays
- Hormone disorders, which may be caused by genetic factors or testosterone therapy
- Infections, particularly sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Injury, surgery or other trauma
- Erectile dysfunction
- Penis disorders, including priapism, balanitis, phimosis and penile cancer
- Prostate disorders, such as prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Testicular disorders, including epididymitis and testicular torsion
How to Improve Male Sexual Health
For more than 50 years, the highly trained physicians and staff at Loma Linda University Health have been working with men to:
- Diagnose and treat fertility/reproductive disorders
- Educate them on how to improve their sexual health
- Provide ongoing support to help them make and adhere to lifestyle changes that will improve their sexual health and overall quality of life
- Provide treatment and assessment of Andropause, or male menopause
It is impossible to completely control the many factors that can affect men's sexual health; however, once the precise cause of reproductive disorders or fertility issues has been identified, Loma Linda University Health's dedicated specialists can design a patient-centered treatment regimen to improve a man's sexual health. Possible treatments and therapies may include:
- Education about safe sex practices to prevent future STDs
- Hormone therapies or other medications to correct hormone imbalances
- Lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and stopping drug abuse
- Surgery to correct physical abnormalities
Men may be infertile if they have been unable to conceive within a year of unprotected intercourse, and currently, it is estimated that about 2 million American men suffer from infertility. At Loma Linda University Health, our dedicated staff is committed to diagnosing and treating male infertility and has been providing discrete, cutting-edge care to men experiencing fertility problems and reproductive disorders for the past 20+ years.
Our holistic approach focuses on:
- Identifying the precise cause(s) of male infertility
- Developing a treatment regimen tailored to each individual patient
- Educating men about how to improve fertility and overall sexual health
- Supporting men as they undergo prescribed treatments and incorporate necessary lifestyle changes
Diagnosing Fertility Problems in Men
Male fertility relies on a man's testicles producing enough healthy sperm and the sperm being properly ejaculated into a woman's vagina. Consequently, to diagnose male infertility, tests will concentrate on finding out which of the above factors is being affected and to what degree.
Because of the vast range of male infertility causes, the diagnostic process can specifically include:
- A general physical exam and compilation of a patient's medical history
- Semen analysis to check the quantity and health of the sperm
- Hormone testing
- Genetic tests to confirm or rule out possible chromosomal defects
- Ultrasounds to assess abnormalities of the internal reproductive organs
- Biopsies to evaluate the presence of infection or malignancies
- Specialized sperm function tests to determine how well the sperm function and survive following ejaculation
- Anti-sperm antibody tests to find out if the man's immune system is attacking and destroying his sperm
Treatments for Male Infertility
At Loma Linda University Health, our highly trained fertility specialists will develop unique treatment regimens to fit a patient's specific needs and reproductive issues. Depending on the patient's age, the severity and cause of their infertility and length of time the patient has been infertile, possible treatments can include:
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART), which typically involves in vitro fertilization
- Lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol consumption or taking multivitamins and herbal supplements
- Medications for erectile dysfunction
- Hormone therapy
Healthy sexual function in men involves being able to complete and experience satisfaction from the sexual cycle of excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Approximately 31 percent of American men report having some difficulty experiencing sexual satisfaction, and worldwide, one in 10 men suffers from erectile dysfunction.
At Loma Linda University Health, our knowledgeable specialists use cutting-edge technologies to diagnose and treat men's sexual function conditions. Our comprehensive methods and holistic approach allow our dedicated doctors and nurses to effectively:
- Identify the precise causes of sexual dysfunction
- Develop treatment regimens specifically designed for a patient's unique needs and conditions
- Support patients as they start and follow through with necessary treatments and lifestyle changes
Factors Affecting Men's Sexual Function
Male sexual dysfunction can result from complications with:
- Libido, the desire and drive to engage in sexual activity, which can be a result of poor diet, certain health conditions, and drug use. These factors all affect testosterone levels, which, in turn, can decrease libido and contribute to male sexual dysfunction.
- Erections which can result from a series of complex neuropsychological processes. Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be caused by stress, depression, environmental factors, drug use or physical trauma.
- Ejaculation, the process of sperm being expelled from the penis, which can be caused by physical abnormalities or certain medications that impede or altogether prevent proper ejaculation.
- Orgasm, or the pleasurable sensation occurring upon ejaculation, which can be affected if men take certain drugs, suffer from psychiatric disorders or live with specific physical abnormalities.
Diagnosing & Treating Male Sexual Dysfunction
To appropriately identify a man's sexual function, our team may administer any combination of ultrasounds, neurological evaluations, dynamic infusion cavernosometry and cavernosography (DICC) - an injection of dye that displays the blood flow in and out of the penis - and a nocturnal tumescence test, which monitors whether men unconsciously experience erections as they sleep.
The sexual experience involves a series of complex physical, neurological and environmental factors. Following thorough exams and proper diagnosis, Loma Linda University Health's professional, compassionate staff will create individual treatment regimens that may include:
- Hormone therapy and/or medication
- Sex and/or behavioral counseling and therapy
- Surgery to correct physical abnormalities, promote healthier blood flow or insert a penile implant