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What is Male Infertility?

Male infertility refers to a man's inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female partner. It's typically diagnosed when a couple has been actively trying to conceive for at least a year without success. Male infertility can result from various factors, including:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Low sperm count
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Lifestyle Variables
  • Poor Sperm Motility
  • Genetic Defects
  • Sexual disorders
  • Varicocele
  • Stress
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Previous infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

Diagnosis of Male Infertility

A complete medical history, physical examination, and several tests to assess sperm count, motility, morphology, and the general health of the reproductive system are typically used to diagnose male infertility. The following are a few typical diagnostic tests performed to assess male infertility:

Semen Analysis

Semen analysis is a crucial test for assessing male fertility. A semen sample is collected through masturbation and analyzed in a laboratory to evaluate various parameters.

Hormonal Testing

Blood tests may be conducted to measure hormone levels, including testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prolactin.

Testicular Biopsy

To examine the development and generation of sperm, a small piece of testicular tissue is removed during a testicular biopsy.

Symptoms of Male Infertility

The primary symptoms of male infertility typically involve ejaculation disorders, leading to premature ejaculation or reduced semen volume. Additional indicators may include:

  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Difficulty in maintaining an erection during intercourse, often stemming from neurological or psychological factors.
  • Testicular Pain: Discomfort in the testicles due to factors such as testicular tension, infection, hernia, or hydrocele.
  • Small and Firm Testicles: Reduced testosterone production, commonly associated with genetic conditions
    like Klinefelter Syndrome.
  • Varicocele: The swelling of veins in the scrotum, affecting approximately 15% of males in reproductive
    age and contributing significantly to infertility.
  • Low Sexual Desire: Decreased libido or sex drive due to hormonal imbalances, particularly low
    testosterone levels.

Male Infertility Treatment

The treatment of male infertility varies based on the underlying cause identified in the male partner. Male infertility specialists may recommend a range of treatments, including:


Surgical intervention for male infertility is advised in cases of conditions like varicoceles and obstructive vas deferens.

Lifestyle Changes

Implementing positive lifestyle changes on a daily basis can enhance fertility in men.

Hormone Treatment and Medication

Fertility specialists may recommend hormone treatments to restore fertility when certain hormones exhibit elevated or reduced levels.

ART Procedures (IVF / ICSI)

Techniques within ART such as IVF and ICSI aid couples in conception by directly combining a sperm and an egg to create an embryo.

Third Party Reproduction

Third-party reproduction, involves utilizing genetic material or gestation provided by individuals outside of the intended parents, commonly known as donors.

Treatment for sexual disorders

Conditions like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation can be effectively managed with appropriate medication.

Male Infertility Related FAQ

An exhaustive semen analysis is often considered a prime diagnostic tool for identifying male infertility concerns, assessing parameters such as sperm count, motility, morphology, and additional factors. Hormonal and genetic assessments may also be conducted to unveil underlying causes of infertility.

Certainly, smoking can negatively impact male fertility by reducing sperm count, impairing DNA integrity within sperm, and diminishing motility. Consequently, discontinuing smoking is strongly advised to enhance fertility.

Signs indicating male infertility encompass challenges in conceiving following over a year of unprotected intercourse, anomalous results from semen analysis, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and hormonal imbalances, among others.

In some cases, male infertility can be attributed to genetic factors, such as chromosomal abnormalities or mutations in genes related to sperm production or function. However, not all cases of male infertility are genetic in nature.

Chronic stress can potentially affect male fertility by disrupting hormone levels, reducing sperm quality, and affecting sexual function. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and seeking support can be beneficial.

Common causes include low sperm count, poor sperm motility or quality, hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, infections, varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum), and lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity.