Causes of Male Infertility

Poor Sperm Quality: One of the major causes of male infertility is low sperm count. Likewise; low sperm motility, that is either the inability of sperms to swim through the vagina and the uterine cavity to reach the female egg cell or the failure of abnormally shaped (abnormal morphology) sperms in penetrating through the outer surface of the egg, is another major reason of male infertility.

Another factor is the absence of sperms or the absence of sperm production. One of the reasons resulting in this condition is obstructions in sperm ducts.

  • Varicocele: It describes the dilation of the testicular veins.
  • Undescended testes: During the intrauterine fetal development, testicles start descending in the inguinal canal towards their final destination, the scrotum. This movement continues throughout the pregnancy and both testicles end in being located in the scrotum shortly before birth. The failure of one or both testicles in settling in the scrotum is called undescended testicle(s). For normal sperm production, the temperature of the environment of the testicles must be a few degrees lower than the body temperature. Therefore, undescended testicles can lead to fertility problems even if they have been surgically corrected.
  • Hormonal disorders (problems in hormone release from the pituitary, thyroid, and testicular glands) 
  • Abnormalities in the sperm structure and inadequacies in the sperm count and the ratio of motile sperms 
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Trauma and testicular infections (such as epididymal infections and mumps in case of testicular involvement) 
  • Immunological problems (presence of substances called antibodies acting against sperms to  destroy them)
  • Obstructions in the sperm ducts: Obstructions caused by infections can cause infertility by impairing the release of sperm excretion.
  • Retrograde ejaculation: Semen's flow into the bladder instead of being ejaculated from the penis is called retrograde ejaculation. Conditions such as diabetes and previous prostate surgery may cause retrograde ejaculation.
  • Vasectomy: It is the surgical ligation of the sperm ducts in males for contraception. Even if the procedure can be reversed via surgery, semen may not contain sperms that time.
  • Cancer: Cancer surgery, medications used for the treatment of cancer, or radiation are causes of infertility.
  • Age: Along with advancing age, hormonal changes occur in men as they occur in women. Although it is rare, a reduction occurs in sperm production resulting in infertility.

Factors Affecting Men's Reproductive Health Unfavorably

  • Smoking and consuming high volumes of alcohol affect reproduction unfavorably in men. 
  • Being overweight and respective medication use are other causes of male infertility. 
  • Because high temperature levels unfavorably affect testicles; men should avoid tight trousers, putting on briefs that keep testicles close to the body, and warm baths.


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