“Dear Ify, I have been reading your articles on infertility and lifestyle issues. It is good to know that you are available to put a smile on people’s faces. Please, I’m keen on knowing the likely causes of watery sperm. This has hindered my wife from getting pregnant. What could be responsible please?” – Honorable from Lagos.


Majority of couples will achieve a successful pregnancy after a prolonged period of engaging in regular unprotected intercourse if they are fertile.

Recent research, however, estimates that “about a third of infertility cases is due to the male. Another third is the female. In the last third of infertile couples, the problem is caused by either a combination of reasons or, in 20 out of 100 cases, it can’t be explained”. Up to 15 percent of couples are infertile.

This means they aren’t able to conceive a child even though they’ve had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of these couples, male infertility plays a role.


The study said the most common cause of infertility in Africa are sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gonorrhea and chlamydia.

“Furthermore in the male, causes of infertility include the inability to produce healthy sperm, inadequate sperm in the semen, sperm density/count or motility”.

Medical causes include varicocele, tumors, antibodies that attack sperm, undescended testicles, hormonal imbalances, prior surgeries and chromosomal defects.


The study reveals that within the context of Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa “the commonest cause of female infertility is the tubal factor; that is, diseases affecting the fallopian tubes.

Apart from occlusion of the fallopian tubes, a woman may not ovulate at all; the genital (reproductive) passages may be obstructed, preventing sperm from getting through to the uterus or fallopian tubes or there may be hostile cervical mucus or antibodies produced by the body of the woman making it impossible for the sperm to be active or potent; and the uterus and its lining (the endometrium) may be abnormal, absent or otherwise unsuitable for implantation and development of fertilized egg”.

The difficulty of achieving pregnancy and risks attached to it increases with age, with female fertility declining significantly between the ages of 30 and 35. Many women are marrying later in their lives and couples are waiting longer before producing children. The success of infertility treatment is also limited because childbearing is prolonged.

Your doctor or Urologist will take your health and surgical histories. The most basic is a semen analysis. Your doctor will study your sperm volume, count, concentration, movement and structure.


The quality of your sperm will usually determine your ability to achieve a pregnancy.
Treatment for unknown causes of male infertility is carried out through Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTs).

Based on the tests and findings, your healthcare provider may suggest Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). IUI is often recommended for low sperm count and motility problems. Also, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), is a variation of IVF, where a single sperm is injected into the egg with a tiny needle.

The fertilized egg is placed into your spouse’s uterus afterwards. This procedure is also recommended if you have poor semen quality.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes
Apart from preventable sexually transmissible infections or diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia; other factors which cause or aggravate a condition of infertility are lifestyle-related factors such as alcohol or caffeine intake, obesity, weight gain or loss, eating disorders and malnutrition, and excessive exercise and abuse of illicit drugs.


Go for fertility boosting foods that contain zinc. Zinc helps to increase testosterone and sperm. Zinc can be gotten from foods like beef, beans, tomatoes walnuts, lentils and pumpkin seeds.

Research has also shown that pomegranate juice may help boost sperm count and quality. Vitamin E is also a safe, supplement as studies show that it lowers the risk of heart disease.

Taking 400 IU twice daily can treat any oxidants that may affect fertility. There are certain foods and drink you should avoid while trying to conceive. Junk foods have a lot of calories from sugar with lots of fat and less protein. These include caffeinated drinks, alcohol and high mercury foods like tuna steak.

Being overweight can also reduce the chances of a man’s ability to impregnate his wife. Stress can interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Severe or prolonged emotional stress, including problems with fertility, can affect your sperm.


A variety of factors, from genetics and lifestyle to environmental exposures and hormones, can affect a man’s fertility, so it’s difficult to isolate the exact cause from infertility.

Ify is a Life, Emotions and behavioural Change Coach who is passionate about helping singles and married navigate their path to wellness, fertility and parenthood. Send your emails and enquiries to [email protected].

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