How can men protect their reproductive health and the health of their partners?
It is important for men to protect their reproductive health and that of their partners by:
- Using contraception carefully, consistently, and correctly
- Minimizing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases
- Addressing factors that may reduce fertility and seeking treatment when required
Men should consult with their health care provider to discuss which contraceptive method is best for the couple, based on overall health, age, frequency of sexual activity, number of partners, desire to have children in the future, and family history of certain diseases. Contraceptive methods work best when they are used correctly and consistently. Using contraception incorrectly or inconsistently increases the risk of pregnancy and in some cases also increases the risk of STDs.
It is important to discuss the risk factors for STDs with a health care provider and ask about getting tested. It is possible to have an STD and not know it, because many STDs do not cause symptoms. Men with STDs need to ask a health care provider about treatment to address symptoms, reduce the progression of the STDs, and decrease or eliminate the risk of transmitting an STD to your partner.
If you and your partner are interested in having children, but have difficulty conceiving, it is important for both the male and the female partner to consult with a health care provider to assess fertility. Over one-third of infertility cases are caused by male reproductive issues, alone or in combination with female reproductive issues. However, treatments are available to address many of the causes of male infertility.