Risky Business: When there aren’t any symptoms

A number of disorders that impact the male reproductive system do not have any symptoms beyond reduced fertility.

Our bodies have a fairly awesome feedback system. Usually if something is wrong with us, our body gives us some kind of notice. Things can look different, or feel different, but either way our bodies like to let us know when something is up. One of the few exceptions to this rule is seen in the male reproductive system.

Due to the microscopic nature of your swim team, there are occasions where something is wrong with your boys and you’re body doesn’t send you any signals. The following conditions can cause infertility in men without any other risk factors and should be considered if you’re having problems with conception.

Varicocele: Affecting about 15% of all men, varicoceles are incredibly common. Often symptomless, a varicocele is an enlargement in the veins in the scrotum which can harm sperm production. Large varicoceles can often be seen or felt (like a bag of worms in the scrotum) but even small, unnoticeable varicoceles can impact both fertility and testosterone production.

Genetic Mutation: The natural process of making sperm involves a re-shuffling of the DNA. Often tiny parts of your DNA code are deleted or repeated. This is mother nature’s way of trying to find new optimum genes. In about 1 in 500 men, a father’s sperm passes on mutations that negatively impact a son’s fertility.
Ideopathic: Some people are infertile for no good reason. There are lots of theories, but at the end of the day science doesn’t always have a good answer.

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