Men’s sexual health is often perceived as a sensitive topic, but this perception can hinder our knowledge of common (and sometimes treatable) problems regarding the matter.
For instance, not many men know or care to know the difference between infertility and impotence.
Both these issues fall in the realm of sexual health and can get in the way of couples having children. However, there are distinct differences between these two conditions that require different approaches to remedy.
Keen to learn what these differences are? This article will delve into the differences between infertility and sterility, including their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What is Impotence?
Impotence, or erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition wherein a man has trouble getting an erection to form. It’s a common sexual dysfunction, afflicting 30 million men in the US alone.
The process of achieving an erection is complex and involves various physiological systems. It involves the brain, hormones, nerves, blood vessels, the muscles, and the penis.
The brain sends signals to the penis when sexually aroused, drawing in a healthy supply of blood to the erectile chambers and consequently forming an erection.
Any disruption in the system of forming an erection can cause impotence. It could be psychological, such as depression or performance anxiety, or physiological, such as cardiovascular disease causing blood flow issues.
It could also be a result of underlying health conditions that could cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. If you’re consistently unable to get or maintain an erection, talk with a doctor for medical or surgical intervention.
What is Sterility?
Sterility, commonly referred to as infertility, is the inability to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse.
It’s a challenge faced by a surprisingly large number of couples, with some studies reporting that about 15% of couples in the US struggle with infertility.
Both men and women can possess underlying health problems that could cause their infertility.
For men in particular, infertility could be caused by a variety of things, including:
- Hormonal issues
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Low sexual desire
- Hormonal abnormality
- Low sperm volume
- Physical blockages
Furthermore, men can also develop infertility later in life if they have underlying risk factors.
Being obese, a frequent smoker, or older in age puts individuals at increased risk of developing infertility later in life. Certain medications like cancer drugs and recreational drugs can also increase the chances of men suffering from fertility issues in the future.
Fortunately, most doctors possess the expertise to treat these conditions with the right medical treatment. However, the intensity of these treatments can differ based on the specific condition.
What’s The Difference Between Impotence and Sterility?
Impotence and sterility are two types of sexual disorders. The former is when the penis can’t get or maintain an erection despite sexual arousal. The latter is when a man is unable to produce a live baby due to either a low sperm volume or unhealthy sperm content.
At the core, they are completely different conditions that interfere with healthy sexual function. They have different causes, with impotence being caused by psychological and physiological issues, whereas sterility is caused by primarily testicular and hormonal issues.
They also present themselves differently—with sterile people still able to get erections, and treated impotent people still able to deliver healthy sperm.
That said, there can be some overlaps between these two conditions.
A man can find it hard to conceive a child because they’re impotent and unable to engage in sexual intercourse. Conversely, a man with fertility issues can experience psychological symptoms that can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Every person’s medical history is different, and treatment options can differ from person to person. A doctor may be the best person to consult as they can prescribe you the right medical treatments to improve your sex life.
Ways to Treat Impotence
Dealing with erectile dysfunction or impotence can be debilitating for you and your partner. Fortunately, treatment is available for this condition.
Here are some ways men can treat their erectile dysfunction:
- Erectile dysfunction therapy: A doctor may prescribe pills, injections, or creams to restore erectile function and aid the body in responding to sexual stimulation. A medical professional can also provide ED treatments without pills, as multiple options are available.
- Vacuum erectile devices: A special vacuum gets inserted into the penis and is suctioned to facilitate an erection.
- Penile implants: Implants may be inserted into the penis through surgery to maintain an erection.
- Psychotherapy: For people with psychogenic erectile dysfunction caused by depression or anxiety, finding a mental health counselor to address underlying mental problems can be beneficial.
- Hormone therapy: Some cases of impotence are caused by hormonal imbalances like low testosterone or thyroid hormone levels. Hormone therapy to increase the levels of these hormones helps improve symptoms of ED.
- Address medications: Some medications can cause ED as a side effect, like SSRIs. You may talk with a doctor to switch medications or adjust your dosage.
- Make big lifestyle changes: Eating less, exercising more, and sleeping more can help you consistently stay on top of your health.
Ways to Treat Sterility
Sterility is diagnosed with a scrotal ultrasound, urinalysis, and/or a biopsy. If sterility is identified as the main problem, your physician may prescribe the following treatments:
- Hormone therapy: Sterility caused by hormonal issues can be remedied by the right hormonal therapy.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART): Some men can undergo intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) if sperm motility is the main problem.
- Varicocelectomy: This type of surgery is recommended for men with a varicocele.
- Anti-bacterial treatment: The treatment of underlying infections can improve the chances of fertility.
- Improved lifestyle: Some foods can make it difficult to maintain an erection. Maintaining a good diet and an active lifestyle can help increase fertility chances.
Restore Erectile Health and Vitality with Cleveland, Ohio’s Top Men’s Wellness Center
Impotence and fertility are two sexual conditions that can make it hard to produce a child, but that’s the extent to which these two are similar.
If you want to improve your sexual experiences, it’s important to stay on top of your health.
The medical professionals from Cleveland’s top male wellness center at Precise Men’s Medical Center can help you achieve that with our ED treatment, Low T treatment, HGH treatment, adrenal fatigue treatment, RestoreWave therapy, and a whole lot more.
Schedule an appointment with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.