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May 7, 2021

Male fertility facts you need to know in your 20s

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If you see children in your future, here’s some information that you need to know

Infertility impacts men, as much as women. 

Over a third of all fertility problems are due to the male (and sperm) in conceiving. It is very common.

Age and male fertility 

As you get older, your fertility does decline. Ageing impacts the quality and quantity of sperm. However, many go on to successfully conceive later in life. 

When does male fertility drop off? 

Although the decline in fertility is less dramatic for men, the gradual decline starts in the late 20s. 

Signs of male infertility and male infertility symptoms 

Not all men experience signs and symptoms of infertility. Often, many men go through their 20s completely unaware of any issues with their fertility, and most will only become aware of their fertility when they are trying to conceive. 

What are the most common reasons for male fertility issues?

Defects in your reproductive system, low hormone levels, childhood and current illnesses or medications might harm sperm production. Lifestyle factors such as high BMI, smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs can also affect sperm.

Reduced sperm count, motility and abnormal sperm shape are the common abnormalities found in the sperm.

Is male fertility treatable?

Yes, many treatments exist to help men who are trying to conceive.  

How do I establish my fertility?

In order to establish your fertility and the right treatment for you,  consultation with a fertility specialist,  physical examination and diagnostic testing are needed. Semen analysis is a routine laboratory test that helps to identify the quality and quantity of the sperm. The quality of your sperm tells much about your ability to start a pregnancy.

Lifestyle and male fertility 

Your lifestyle can impact your fertility and sperm quality. Key things to watch in your 20’s include your diet and BMI, smoking and substance use, as well as alcohol consumption, STIs and medication. If you have a medical condition that can impact your fertility, then your GP or consultant will be able to give you further information.  

Your chances of conceiving 

Everybody’s chances of conceiving are different because everybody is different. Sometimes it takes longer for a couple to conceive, other times it does not. Typically, a healthy young couple’s chances of conceiving in year one is around 80%. Of those that do not conceive in year one, half will naturally conceive in year two.  

A rule of thumb to follow is that if you have been trying to conceive for over a year and you are concerned, then do make an appointment to see a fertility specialist. If you are part of an older couple or you are aware of a medical condition/lifestyle factor that could be impacting your fertility, then we would recommend that you seek out a fertility specialist sooner rather than later.  

Treatable male fertility issues 

Fertility specialists are able to perform individualised tests and consultations to establish the best treatment for you. Common sperm abnormalities that could be overcome by fertility treatment include:

  • No sperm production

  • Low sperm count

  • Low sperm motility

  • Past vasectomy

  • Irregular sperm shape and structure 

  • Hormone imbalance 

Is IVF the answer for male infertility?

Not necessarily, but many treatments are available to help treat male infertility. A fertility specialist will help you to increase your chances of success by selecting the best treatment for you. Examples of other common male fertility treatments include intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), surgical sperm retrieval and sperm donation.

To find out more about fertility treatments, visit our treatments page.

If you have questions or concerns about male fertility, remember you are not alone and there are people who can help.  If you have been diagnosed with a male fertility issue and would like to speak to someone, please do contact us. 

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