A recent study has found that baby boys who wear diapers lined with plastic have significantly higher temperatures inside the testicles. The researchers suggest that disposable diapers may have contributed to the increase in male infertility over the past 25 years.
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Some cases of male infertility may be avoided by doing the following:
- Avoid drugs and medications known to cause fertility problems.
- Avoid excessive exercise.
- Avoid exposure to environmental hazards such as pesticides.
- Avoid frequent hot baths or use of hot tubs.
- Avoid tight underwear or pants.
- Eat a diet with adequate folic acid.
- Get early treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Have regular physical examinations to detect early signs of infections or abnormalities.
- Keep diseases, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, under control.
- Practice safer sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
- Take a lycopene supplement.
- Wear protection over the scrotum during athletic activities.
Although more research needs to be done, parents may want to consider alternatives to disposable diapers for male infants.
How is the condition diagnosed?
The diagnosis of infertility begins with a medical history and physical exam. The provider may order blood tests to look for hormone imbalances or disease. A semen sample may be needed. The volume of the semen is measured, as well as the number of sperm in the sample. How well the sperm move is also assessed.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Male infertility can create tension in a couple's relationship. Sexual relations may become less pleasurable. Fertility evaluations can be expensive. Eventually, 85% of couples find a cause for their inability to conceive. However, some couples never become pregnant, even with the newest treatments. Adoption may be the best choice in some cases.
What are the risks to others?
Male infertility is not contagious. However, male infertility can be caused by a sexually-transmitted disease, which may be transmitted to sexual partners.