Male Infertility: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Male Infertility: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Male Infertility

Infertility is a common problem affecting millions of couples worldwide, and male infertility is a significant factor in nearly half of all cases. The World Health Organization defines male infertility as the inability to conceive a child despite regular, unprotected sexual intercourse for at least one year. Infertility can be a stressful and frustrating experience for couples, but understanding the causes and treatment options can provide hope and guidance.

In this article, we will discuss male infertility in detail, including its causes, diagnosis, and treatment options. We will also explore lifestyle changes that can improve male fertility and offer advice on how to cope with the emotional impact of infertility.

Causes of Male Infertility

Male infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Low Sperm Count: A low sperm count, also known as oligospermia, is the most common cause of male infertility. Men with a low sperm count may have difficulty fertilizing their partner’s egg or may not be able to do so at all.
  2. Abnormal Sperm: Sperm abnormalities, such as misshapen or immobile sperm, can also cause infertility. Abnormal sperm may not be able to swim to the egg or penetrate its outer layer.
  3. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone levels or high levels of prolactin, can interfere with sperm production and reduce male fertility.
  4. Varicocele: Varicocele is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicles, which can cause reduced sperm production and quality.
  5. Genetic Abnormalities: Genetic abnormalities, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome or Y chromosome deletions, can affect sperm production and lead to male infertility.
  6. Infections: Certain infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can damage the male reproductive system and affect fertility.
  7. Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides and chemicals, can reduce sperm count and quality.
  8. Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use, can also reduce male fertility.

Diagnosing Male Infertility

If a couple has been trying to conceive for at least a year without success, it may be time to seek medical help. A doctor can perform a physical exam and conduct a variety of tests to diagnose male infertility, including:

  1. Semen Analysis: A semen analysis is a simple and non-invasive test that can determine the quality and quantity of sperm in the semen.
  2. Hormone Testing: Hormone testing can check for imbalances that may be affecting sperm production.
  3. Genetic Testing: Genetic testing can detect any abnormalities that may be affecting fertility.
  4. Imaging Tests: Imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI, can detect structural abnormalities in the male reproductive system.
  5. Testicular Biopsy: In some cases, a testicular biopsy may be necessary to diagnose male infertility.

Treatment Options for Male Infertility

Treatment options for male infertility depend on the underlying cause of the problem. Some common treatment options include:

  1. Medications: Medications can be prescribed to correct hormonal imbalances, improve sperm production, or treat infections.
  2. Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to repair structural abnormalities, such as a varicocele.
  3. Assisted Reproductive Techniques: Assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), can be used to overcome male infertility.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and maintaining a healthy weight, can improve male fertility.

Coping with Male Infertility

Infertility can be a challenging and emotional experience for couples, but there are several ways to cope with the stress and frustration of infertility. Here are some tips for coping with male infertility:

  1. Seek Support: Talk to your partner, friends, or family about your feelings. Consider joining a support group for couples dealing with infertility.
  2. Practice Self-Care: Take care of your physical and emotional health by eating well, exercising regularly, and engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as yoga or meditation.
  3. Be Open to Alternative Paths to Parenthood: Consider alternative paths to parenthood, such as adoption or donor insemination.
  4. Take a Break: Take a break from trying to conceive if you need it. It’s important to take time for yourself and your relationship.
  5. Get Professional Help: If you’re struggling to cope with infertility, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Preventing Male Infertility

While not all cases of male infertility can be prevented, there are some steps men can take to improve their fertility and reduce their risk of infertility:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese can affect sperm production and quality. Maintaining a healthy weight can help improve male fertility.
  2. Quit Smoking: Smoking can reduce sperm count and quality. Quitting smoking can improve male fertility.
  3. Limit Alcohol and Drug Use: Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use can also affect male fertility. Limiting alcohol and drug use can help improve fertility.
  4. Avoid Environmental Toxins: Exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides and chemicals, can reduce sperm count and quality. Avoiding these toxins can help improve male fertility.


Male infertility is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding the causes and treatment options can provide hope and guidance for couples dealing with infertility. If you are experiencing infertility, talk to your doctor about your options and seek support from loved ones and professionals. By taking steps to improve your fertility and coping with the emotional impact of infertility, you can increase your chances of achieving your dream of becoming a parent.

Supporting couples in the emotional anguish of infertility

Infertility is a highly emotional issue that affects millions of couples worldwide. Despite medical advancements in treating infertility, it’s crucial to recognize the emotional toll it takes on couples. Infertility can cause emotional distress, anxiety, and depression in both men and women. It can be overwhelming to feel disappointed, and the process of trying to get pregnant can be taxing on the relationship. Many couples feel isolated and unsupported, and infertility can cause a sense of loss and grief.

Thankfully, there are many resources available to help couples through this difficult journey. Therapy, support groups, and counseling services can provide a safe and supportive environment for couples to express their feelings and receive guidance.

Support Groups: Finding a Supportive Community

Support groups are an excellent resource for couples struggling with infertility. These groups offer a supportive community where couples can share their experiences, ask questions, and receive support from others going through the same thing. Support groups can be found online or in-person, and trained professionals often lead them, specializing in infertility counseling.

Therapy and Counseling: Navigating Complex Emotions and Relationship Issues

In addition to support groups, therapy and counseling services can be invaluable for couples struggling with infertility. A trained therapist can help couples navigate the complex emotions and stress associated with infertility. Therapy can also help couples work through any relationship issues that may arise during the fertility journey.

Female infertility doctor reading medical results to women pregnant

Communication: Open and Honest Communication is Key

It’s important for couples struggling with infertility to remember that they’re not alone. It’s estimated that 10-15% of couples worldwide struggle with infertility, and many resources are available to help them through this challenging journey.

One of the most critical things couples can do when dealing with infertility is to communicate openly and honestly with each other. The process of trying to conceive can be stressful, and it’s vital for couples to talk about their feelings and support each other through the ups and downs.

Medical Treatments: Exploring Options with a Fertility Specialist

In addition to emotional support, many medical treatments are available for couples struggling with infertility. Fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are all common treatments for infertility. Couples should work with a qualified fertility specialist to determine the best course of treatment for their specific situation.

Taking Care of Physical and Emotional Health

It’s also crucial for couples to take care of their physical and emotional health during the fertility journey. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest. Couples should also take time for themselves and engage in activities that bring them joy and relaxation.

Conclusion: Overcoming and Starting a Family

In conclusion, infertility can be a difficult and emotional journey for couples. However, with the right support and resources, couples can navigate this journey and emerge stronger on the other side. Support groups, therapy, and counseling services provide a safe and supportive environment for couples to express their feelings and receive guidance. Couples must communicate openly and honestly with each other and take care of their physical and emotional health during the fertility journey. With the right support and resources, couples can overcome infertility and start the family they’ve always dreamed of.

How to Improve Low Sperm Count

As a man, your fertility is closely linked to the quality and quantity of your semen. Low sperm count, medically known as oligospermia, can make it difficult for you to father a child. If you are struggling with this, you are not alone. In fact, it is a common issue affecting many men worldwide. In this article, we will be discussing the causes of low sperm count, how to test for it, and effective ways to improve sperm count naturally.

Illustration of normal sperm count vs low sperm count

Causes of Low Sperm Count

Various factors can lead to low semen count, including:

  • Lifestyle factors: smoking, alcohol consumption, recreational drugs, and obesity.
  • Medical conditions: infections, hormonal imbalances, and varicoceles.
  • Environmental factors: exposure to toxins such as lead, pesticides, and radiation.


If you have concerns about your semen count, you can see a doctor for a semen analysis test. This test will check your sperm count, motility, and morphology.

Improving Low Sperm Count Naturally

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and recreational drug use have a negative impact on semen. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can improve sperm count significantly.

Exercise Regularly

  1. Exercise not only helps to reduce stress but also improves overall health, which can increase sperm count. However, avoid over-exercising as it can have the opposite effect.

Manage Stress

  1. Stress can affect your body in many ways, including reducing sperm count. Find ways to manage stress such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a therapist.

Eat a Healthy Diet

  1. A balanced and nutritious diet can significantly improve your sperm count. Include foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Also, increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flaxseeds, to improve quality.

Take Supplements

  1. Supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc can improve semen count and quality. However, always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements.


Low sperm count can be a distressing issue for men who want to start a family. Fortunately, there are natural ways to improve semen count, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and taking supplements. By implementing these lifestyle changes, you can increase your chances of fathering a child naturally.

What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant Per Age Cluster?

Age is a factor that affects fertility. However, it’s not the only factor. Undeniably, advancing in age reduces the number of eggs and their quality as well. A person in their 20s has more viable eggs compared to someone who just turned 25.

To understand infertility, it’s essential to understand all factors around it. For starters, you’re born with close to 7 million eggs, and by the time you hit puberty, you have about 300,000 to 400,000 remaining. To shed more light on fertility, here’s how your chances of conception change with age:

20s Pregnancy

The chances of conceiving in your 20s are predominantly high. At this age, your body is healthy so are your eggs and sperms. Moreover, you have more eggs being released during ovulation. Although, the drawback sits in emotional and financial preparation. Most women or couples are never adequately prepared for the highs and lows of bringing up a child. Regardless, the chances of conception for a 20s pregnancy ranges between 57% to 62% after six cycles and 70% to 78% after 12 cycles.

30s Pregnancy

At age 30, your chance of getting pregnant slightly declines. The decline becomes more rapid at age 35. Compared to your 20s, your chance of getting pregnant ranges between 61% to 46.3%  after six cycles and 77% to 67% after 12 cycles. The decline in the percentage signifies the increase in age. The more you age, the lower your chances of conception.

40s Pregnancy

Despite the highlight that 35 marks the rapid decline of fertility in women, more mothers are getting pregnant at age 40 and above. An underlying reason for this is the introduction of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that improves fertility in aged women.

Read more on getting pregnant after 40.

How Not Getting Enough Sleep May Affect Your Fertility

As you likely know, certain lifestyle factors can weigh on your ability to conceive. If you’re underweight or overweight, follow a poor diet, smoke, drink, abstain from physical activity and generally are in poor health you could be impacting your fertility in a negative way. But what about something as simple as sleep? Can sleep affect your fertility? And if so, how? Let’s dive in!

Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, and you’re also concerned about your fertility, here’s information that may surprise you:

  • In both men and women, the same part of the brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones (such as melatonin and cortisol) also triggers the daily release of reproductive hormones.
  • The hormones that trigger ovulation in women and sperm maturation in men may be linked to the body’s sleep-wake cycle. For example, if you are a woman, long-term sleep deprivation can directly affect the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) – the hormone that triggers ovulation as part of the regulation of your menstrual cycle. The resulting irregularity of menstruation may mean that it takes longer for you to become pregnant.

Importance of the quality of the sleep when trying to conceive

The importance of sleep is not only tied to the number of hours, but also to the quality of sleep: waking up frequently during the night disrupts the normal sleep cycle, which includes a deep sleep stage during which the body restores itself. Consistent poor-quality sleep can contribute to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Hormone imbalance

all of which can lead to fertility problems.

What else connects sleep and fertility?

Long-term lack of sleep can disrupt more than your hormonal balance. It can affect your fertility indirectly too.

Studies show that Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more commonly seen in infertile women and increases the odds that a woman will be infertile. More studies need to be done and we still have a lot to learn about how exactly sleep disorders may affect infertility. Even so, the results suggest that women can add infertility to the long list of health reasons to get help when they can’t fall or stay asleep.

Five suggestions for improved sleep

Stick to a sleep schedule

Do not schedule more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people do not need more than eight hours in bed to be well rested. Go to bed at the same time every day and get up at the same time, even on weekends. Being consistent will strengthen your body’s sleep-wake rhythm. If you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you are tired. Repeat as needed, but continue to maintain your sleep and wake-up rhythms.

Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Do not go to bed hungry or full. Especially avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours before bedtime. Discomfort could keep you awake. Also be careful with nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can interfere with sleep. And even if alcohol makes you sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

Create a restful environment

Keep your room cool, dark and quiet. Light in the evening can make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using blackout blinds, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs. Calming activities before bed, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, can promote sleep.

Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. However, avoid being active too close to bedtime. Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too. Try going out for an hour or more out in the sunlight each day. 

Manage worries

Try to sort out your worries or concerns before you go to bed. Write down what is on your mind and set it aside for tomorrow. Stress management can help. Start with the basics, like getting organized, setting priorities, and delegating tasks. Meditation can also relieve anxiety.

You’re now familiar with at least some ways to get more and better sleep. Try them! And remember, if your sleep and fertility problems continue, it may be time to talk to your doctor to find out if an underlying medical condition may be a factor.

How can I improve my chance to get pregnant naturally

Getting pregnant is a joyous and exciting time for many couples, but for some, it may take longer than expected. While there are many medical options available for couples struggling to conceive, there are also several natural ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Getting pregnant naturally
Getting pregnant naturally

Here are some tips for getting pregnant naturally:

Track your ovulation

One of the most important things to know when trying to get pregnant is when you are ovulating. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube, where it may be fertilized by sperm. The best time to conceive is during your fertile window, which is the time when you are most likely to get pregnant. To track your ovulation, you can use an ovulation predictor kit, track your basal body temperature, or monitor your cervical mucus.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being either overweight or underweight can affect your ability to get pregnant. Being overweight can cause hormonal imbalances, while being underweight can disrupt your menstrual cycle and make it more difficult to ovulate. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Reduce stress

Stress can have a negative impact on your fertility. Chronic stress can cause hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation and conception. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, can help reduce stress and improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Quit smoking

Smoking can have a negative impact on both male and female fertility. In women, smoking can cause premature aging of the eggs and reduce their quality. In men, smoking can decrease sperm count and motility. Quitting smoking can improve your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.

Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

Alcohol and caffeine can have a negative impact on fertility. Drinking too much alcohol can reduce sperm count and motility in men, and increase the risk of miscarriage in women. Consuming large amounts of caffeine can also reduce fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage. Limiting your alcohol and caffeine consumption can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, including fertility. Lack of sleep can cause hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation and conception. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Get regular exercise

Regular exercise can help improve fertility by reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and regulating hormonal imbalances. Aim to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, most days of the week to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Eat a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats can help improve fertility. Aim to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to support conception.

In conclusion – how you can increase chances to get pregnant naturally

In conclusion, getting pregnant naturally can be a challenging process, but by following these tips, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, every couple is different, and it may take time to get pregnant. If you have been trying to conceive for over a year, or if you have any concerns, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you understand your options and provide the support and guidance you need to start a healthy family.

Get pregnant naturally