For men, there are a variety of factors that could lead to infertility. Many researchers believe the causes of declining male fertility during this century are environmental; they include pesticide and chemical exposure, drug use, radiation and pollution. Risks include:
- exposure to toxic substances or hazards on the job, such as lead,
cadmium, mercury, ethylene oxide, vinyl chloride, radioactivity and
- cigarette or marijuana use
- heavy alcohol consumption
- prescription drugs for high blood pressure (calcium channel blockers), ulcers, and psoriasis
- DES exposure in utero
- exposure of the genitals to elevated temperatures, such as hot baths, whirlpools and steam rooms
- medical risks, including hernia repair, undescended testicles,
history of prostatitis or genital infection and mumps after puberty
- Some STDs can lead to epididymitis (inflammation of the duct which
carries sperm). Ultimately, infertility can be a consequence of STDs.
To decrease this risk, practice safe sex by using latex condoms. Have
any unusual symptoms checked out and treated early — and make sure both
partners are treated simultaneously.