Healthy Men: Fertility not just a women’s issue | Lifestyles

OK, let’s get back to whether the trouble you and your partner are having getting pregnant could be on your end. Again, it’s a definite possibility. Overall, about a quarter of couples conceive within a month or two, half are expecting within six months, and about 85% are pregnant within a year. Put a little differently, 1 in 7 couples is infertile, meaning that they haven’t conceived after 12 months of unprotected sex.

Although the “blame” for infertility has historically fallen on women, experts I’ve spoken with say that about 40% of fertility issues are caused by the woman, 40% are caused by the man, and 20% are unexplained.

And while low sperm counts often contribute to male-side infertility, other factors include your age (the older you are, the harder it will be to conceive); your underwear (sperm need to be a few degrees cooler than your body temperature to thrive, but briefs hold the testicles closer to the body, where the temperature is warmer); your weight (being overweight or obese increases infertility risk by affecting sperm production as well as your libido); how much you drink (alcohol can decrease testosterone levels, which can lead to erectile problems, and can also lower sperm quality); and whether you smoke (recent studies by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that toxins from tobacco smoking may negatively affect sperm production, quality and motility).