Fertility TTC, Miscarriages, Motherhood, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Journey

Causes For Male Infertility

causes for male infertility

Many people these days still believe it’s the women ‘s fault in infertility cases. But, that is totally false. There are different types of infertility including unexplained infertility, female infertility and male infertility. In this post, I will be talking about all the causes for male infertility, and the ways you can overcome these problems. Yes, it is possible to conceive with male infertility, and most of the solutions are quite easy. 

In this post, the following will be discussed. 

  • What is male infertility?
  • Male Infertility Symptoms
  • Causes for Male Infertility
  • Which men are most likely to have male infertility?
  • Male Infertility Tests 
  • Treatments for Male Infertility

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post should not be taken as medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. If you have any concerns about fertility, talk to your doctor.  Also, this post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you purchase something at no additional cost to you. 

causes for male infertility

What is male infertility?

Male infertility is a condition in which the man cannot get his partner pregnant. There are certain factors that affect his chances of getting a woman pregnant. Usually, the sperm itself is the one of the main causes for male infertility whether it has to do with its shape, motility or the production of it. So, basically, the male fertility corresponds to the health of his sperm in terms of quality and quantity.

In more than half of infertility cases, the man is the cause. This proves that woman are not the main cause for infertility. Luckily, many of the causes for male infertility are treatable. Did you know that about 10 percent of the men in the United States suffer from male infertility?

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Male Infertility Symptoms

There are a few signs that can help determine whether you may have male infertility or not. Here are some. 

  • Low sperm count which is less than 15 million/ml or 39 million/ejaculate.
  • Little facial and/or body hair.
  • Growth or lump in groin.
  • Abnormal hormonal levels.
  • Pain in the groin area. 
  • History of surgery in groin area.
  • Abnormal growth in breast area.
  • Can’t get a woman pregnant in one year of unprotected sex.
  • Sexual Problems like erectile dysfunction or dry orgasms. 
  • History of trauma in the pelvic area.
  • History of surgeries in the pelvic area. 

Causes for Male Infertility

There are two main categories for male infertility. Some causes for male infertility fall under medical causes. Others causes for male infertility fall under the category of lifestyle factors.

Medical Causes 

  • Undescended testicles. 

This is a condition seen at birth when one or both testicles fail to descend to the right position before birth. It is usually one testicle that is affected by this condition, but sometimes it is two. Surgery can correct this, but sometimes people who have or had this condition have a decreased chance of getting a woman pregnant. The surgery is orchiopexy. Doctors recommend this surgery be done before the age of two so fertility wouldn’t be affected drastically. 

  • Hormonal Imbalances.

If you have any fault in hormone levels, there is a less chance of conception. Doctors can treat hormonal imbalances by medicine or by a change in lifestyle. Hormonal imbalances can affect the quality and quantity of sperm which directly affect fertility. 

  • Retrogade Ejaculation.

This is a condition in which sperm enters the bladder instead of getting released. It does not harm your body (health wise), but it could lead to male infertility. It is also called a dry orgasm. Some symptoms of this include ejaculating little semen or nothing at all and pee that is unclear and cloudy.

  • Varicocele.

Varicoceles in the enlargement of veins in the scrotum. It could block the flow of blood in the scrotum. Sometimes, it just causes an abnormal flow of blood. Varicoceles usually cause low quality and quantity of sperm. Luckily, there is surgery that can fix this.

  • Genetic Disorders. 

Some genetic diseases can cause male infertility. They include 2 to 8 percent of the men with male infertility. Some genetic disorders that affect male fertility are Cystic Fibrosis, Klinefelter syndrome, and Noonan syndrome. 

  • Antisperm Antibodies. 

Antisperm antibodies are specific antibodies that attack the sperm. They can kill a lot of sperm decreasing the chances of conception. A woman can be allergic to sperm and produce antisperm antibodies as an immune response. This is rare. 

  • Infections. 

An infection can cause you not to be able to get a women pregnant. It can harm the production or health of sperm, or it can cause scarring and create a blockage. Some infections that lead to male infertility include Chlamydia Trachomatis, Gonorrhea, HIV, and Hepatitis B.

  • Tumors. 

Cancer Surgeries can hurt the pelvic area which can lead to male infertility. Not only surgeries can lead to infertility, but also a tumor itself can cause the reproductive organ not to work perfectly. If the tumor affects hormones, that could also lead to infertility. Luckily, there are some types of cancers that decrease fertility just temporarily. 

  • Blockage of Tubules. 

Some men are born with a blockage in the tubules. An infection can cause a blockage too. Either way, this can cause male infertility. Many men who release 0 sperm have this factor. 

Lifestyle Causes

  • Overweight.

Being overweight directly affects the quality and quantity of sperm. It can also cause hormonal imbalances. This may cause lower production of sperm and a low sex drive. Eating better and exercising can dramatically increase sperm quality and quantity.

  • Smoking

Smoking increases the level of lead in the body. Consequently, these toxins destroy sperm. If you quit, in three months you would have healthier sperm. 

  • Exposure To Toxins.

Certain toxins like lead destroy the health of sperm. There are so many other toxins that lead to horrible side effects including infertility. If your job involves exposure to chemicals, you would probably have decrease fertility. 

  • Drugs.

Drugs just like toxins destroy sperm.  The drugs include cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, and if you use it for too long, the infertility could be irreversible. 

  • Alcohol.

Alcohol affects hormonal levels like FSH, LH, and TSH which decreases sperm count and destroys sperm health. 

  • Overheat Testicles.

Overheating your sperm kills it, lowers the count, and makes it abnormal. 

  • Cancer Treatments.

Cancer treatments decrease the production of sperm. Sometimes, it stops it completely. It is recommended sometimes to wait for two years to have a baby. Unfortunately, sometimes sperm production does not come back. 

  • Trauma.

If you get hit in the pelvic area, that could cause damage and a blockage. 

causes for male infertility

Which men are most likely to have male infertility?

  • You are overweight and do not exercise. 
  • You are older than 40 years old. 
  • If you have or had cancer, it makes it more likely to be unable to conceive. 
  • You have been exposed to toxins or work with chemicals. 
  • You have/had an undescended testicle or varicoceles. 
  • Smoking and alcohol are part of your life. 
  • Taking certain medications can cause infertility. 
  • Having a genetic disease too makes it more likely to be unable to produce the sperm. 

You can prevent some causes for male infertility by simply changing your lifestyle. Just exercise, eat better, stop the drugs and take supplements. Try not to work with chemicals, and if you have to, use the proper protective gear. 

causes for male infertility

Tests for the Causes for Male Infertility

There are a few tests done to find out if you suffer from male infertility. I will list them below. 

  • First, your doctor will ask about your history. She might ask how long have you been trying to conceive, if you have any genetic disorders, and about your lifestyle. 
  • She will then probably have a semen analysis done. You will give a sample of semen. They will find out how much you are producing and learn a little about the quality of sperm. Then, they will see the number of sperms you have per ml, how many ml you produce in every ejaculate, the motility of sperm, the morphology of sperm, the viscosity of the semen, and the ph level.
  • They will do a physical exam to make sure there is no lump and varicoceles. 
  • An ultrasound may be done to make sure there is no blockage.
  • You will give a blood sample to test for your hormones. 
  • Sperm DNA testing may be done. 
  • You may also be given antibody sperm test. 

There are more tests that can be done, but there are not given to everyone. 

Treatments for the Causes for Male Infertility

There are many treatments. The treatment depends on the cause. Here are most of the treatments. 

  • If you have a hormonal imbalance, you may be given medications to fix that. 
  • You can simply change your diet, and eat healthier. 
  • You could even take a supplement that will dramatically improve sperm count and quantity. Click here to see the supplement thousand of men take. Read the reviews. There are so many positive results. 
  • Sperm Retrieval is done to take sperm out when it does not come out on it own. It is pretty much a biopsy. Some people have no sperm or only a few. Others, ejaculate in bladder. 
  • ICSI: This is a procedure in which a doctor takes one sperm and injected it into your partner’s egg. This is a huge advancement in technology. Then, you will go through IVF. With IVF, your doctor will transfer the fertilized egg into your partner. This gives so many infertile couples a chance for a successful pregnancy. 

There are a few surgeries that can help a couple conceive. 

  • Vasovasostomy: Sometimes, when there is a blockage in the tubules, surgery can take that blockage out and repair the tubes. It is highly successful if done by a professional.

  • Sperm Retrieval: Sometimes a doctor does this surgically or without surgery. It depends on why you need this procedure. 
  • Varicocelectomy: If you have a varicocele, you doctor will preform this surgery. It takes the blockage of blood and directs it to healthier veins. This will increase sperm health. 

  • Varicocele Embolization: This is another procedure done to treat varicoceles. It moves blood away from the bad veins. 

  • Transurethral Ejaculatory Duct Resection: This procedure does done to open the ejaculatory duct and remove a blockage. 

If you would like more information about male infertility, watch this video. (What Causes Male Fertility Problems? | Male Infertility Explained)

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