How does an infection affect fertility in men? Infertility in men can be caused by various agents and conditions. However, one of the most overlooked sources of infertility by patients may be caused by infection. This does not only include infections associated with sexually transmitted diseases but infection involving various parts of the body. Mumps and prostate infections are the most common types of infections not related to STDs that can cause infertility but it is also believed that other non-specific or recurring infections, say of the lungs, can also be responsible.
How Can Infection Affect Male Fertility? Infection can decrease the rate of sperm count, block the passageway of the sperm, and/or slow down the motility (swimming motion), and/or alter the composition. This aspect of impaired fertility is usually associated with the inflammation that may accompany an infection and in some cases an obstruction can become present. In addition, sperm requires a lower temperature than that of the rest of the body and the increase in temperature that may occur with an infection can hinder a viable sperm count.
Can This Become Permanent? The majority of the affects of infection on male fertility are only temporary but can become permanent in some cases. Chronic and/or recurring infection of reproductive organs can lead to scarring of the tissues in which the sperm passes through. Although this usually will not leave the patient sterile, the passage of sperm may be severely restricted. Men at risk for this condition may include those that have had mumps during or after puberty and have had multiple and/or persistent untreated infections, particularly STDs.
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