Infertility in Men

Infertility in Men

1/3 of infertility is attributed to the male partner

  • A CDC study found that 7.5% of all sexually experienced men younger than age 45 reported seeing a fertility doctor during their lifetime (3.3–4.7 million men.) Of men who sought help, 18% were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem, including sperm or semen problems (14%) and varicocele (6%).
    • A varicocele (VAR-ih-koe-seel) is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles. A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in your leg.Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility. However, not all varicoceles affect sperm production. Varicoceles can also cause testicles to shrink. A problem called varicocele (VAIR-ih-koh-seel). This happens when the veins on a man’s testicle(s) are too large. This heats the testicles. The heat can affect the number or shape of the sperm.
    • Most varicoceles develop over time. Fortunately, most varicoceles are easy to diagnose and many don’t need treatment. If a varicocele causes symptoms, it often can be repaired surgically
  • In men, the most common reasons for infertility are problems with sperm, including:
    • Low sperm count. Too few or no sperm in the semen
    • Low sperm motility. Sperm don’t move as well as they should.
    • Malformation of the sperm.
    • Blocked sperm ducts.
    • Temporary drop in sperm production. This happens when the testicles have been injured, such as when they have been too hot for too long or the man has been exposed to chemicals or drugs that affect sperm production. Drinking alcohol and smoking can lower sperm count. Men 40 and older have lower fertility.


Infertility 101

Risk Factors

Infertility in Women

Diagnosis and Treatment