Male Infertility – Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Do you know the percentage of infertile couples? According to a study, approximately up to 15% of couples are infertile which means that they can not even conceive a child after often and unprotected intercourse for a year or more. The main cause for this can be male infertility in up to half of these couples.


Male infertility is due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent sperm intake. Diseases, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle and other factors can play a role in the cause of male infertility.


When these couples are not being able to conceive a child they can face a stressful and frustrating situation, but there are several treatments for male infertility.


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What is Male Infertility?


Reproduction is a natural experience for most of the couples but for few couples, it is very difficult to understand.


Basically, a man’s fertility depends on the quality and quantity of his sperm. If the number of sperms or spermatozoa is low in ejaculation, or are of poor quality, it will become difficult to provoke a pregnancy.


Male infertility is basically diagnosed when reproductive problems have been identified in the male after evaluation of both partners.


Infertility is a common problem. In about one in five infertile couples, the problem only concerns the male partner.


It is estimated that one in 20 men has a type of fertility problem with a low sperm count in their ejaculate. However, only one in 100 men does not have sperm in their ejaculation.


Male Infertility - Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment




What are the Symptoms of Male Infertility?


There are several symptoms that are associated with infertility in male including;

  • Problems with sexual function.
  • Having pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area.
  • Chronic respiratory infections.
  • Abnormal breast growth.
  • The decrease in facial or body hair.
  • Some signs of a hormonal or chromosomal abnormality
  • Having a lower than normal sperm count.


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What are the Causes of Male Infertility?


Well, there are several causes of infertility in male rather than quality and quantity including;


1. Sperm Production Problems

  • Chromosomal or genetic causes
  • Infections
  • Torsion (twisting of the testis in the scrotum)
  • Varicocele (varicose veins of the testes)
  • Undescended testes (failure of the testes to descend at birth)
  • Medicines and chemicals
  • Radiation damage
  • Unknown cause



2. Blockage of Sperm Transport

  • Infections
  • Prostate-related problems
  • An absence of vas deferens
  • Vasectomy



3. Sexual Problems (Erection and Ejaculation Problems)

  • Retrograde and premature ejaculation
  • Failure of ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infrequent intercourse
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Prostate surgery
  • Damage to nerves
  • Some medicines



4. Hormonal Problems

  • Pituitary tumors
  • Congenital lack of LH/FSH (pituitary problem from birth)
  • Anabolic (androgenic) steroid abuse



5. Sperm Antibodies

  • Vasectomy
  • Injury or infection in the epididymis
  • Unknown cause




What are the Risk Factors of Male Infertility?


There are several risk factors that are associated with infertility in male including;

  • Smoking tobacco.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Using certain illicit medicines or drugs.
  • Overweight.
  • Having certain infections.
  • Exposer to toxins.
  • Experienced trauma to the testicles.
  • Prior history of vasectomy or abdominal surgery.
  • A history of undescended testicles.
  • Having fertility disorder by birth.
  • Having some type of medical conditions such as tumors and chronic illnesses like sickle cell disease.
  • Taking some medications or undergoing medical treatments.




What are the Treatments for Male Infertility?


On an average one in every eight infertile men has a treatable condition but after treatment, couples can naturally become pregnant.


In some cases, the doctor will recommend that the couple seek assisted procreation (ART) techniques such as IVF (in vitro fertilization). The ART process does not treat or cure the cause of infertility in male, but it can help couples get pregnant, even if the human sperm count is very low.




What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?


Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a form of IVF in which a single sperm is placed directly into each egg to perforate the outer shell of the egg. ICSI is particularly useful for men with poor sperm production. Sperm is removed from the sperm or carefully removed from the testicle or epididymis.


ICSI can carry out pregnancies even if only a few sperms are produced.


As with IVF, the resulting embryos are placed in the woman’s uterus after fertilization.





Male infertility or infertility in the male is a condition that occurs due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent sperm intake. But the disease can easily be treated.


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