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The causes of Male Infertility range from  physical anomalies to psychological problems and everything in between. These causes can be divided into four broad categories. It is often believed that fertility is an indication of a man's overall health. Here are the factors affecting male fertility:

Lifestyle Choices

Poor lifestyle choices are  important causes of male infertility:

  • Smoking
  • Use of drugs like marijuana can significantly decrease sperm counts
  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Overuse of anabolic steroids
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Exposure to radiation
Working on these behaviors and modifying them can improve male fertility.

Hormonal Problems

Though only a very small percentage of male infertility cases are associated with hormonal problems, it is importat because it is one of the few easily treatable   causes of male infertility. Hormonal disorders include:

  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism 
  • Panhypopituitafism 

Medical  Problems

Medical  problems can also cause  infertility. These include:

  • Damaged sperm ducts ( vas and the epidisymis), which result in obstructive azoospermia because the sperm get blocked 
  • Torsion of the  testes , which causes testicular damage 
  • Male reproductive tract infections can cause both low sperm count and motility
  • Men would also have elevated FSH levels, which is an indication that can lead to the arrest of the infertility
  • Genetic problems such as Klinefelter’s Syndrome

Sexual  Problems

Sexual problems can impair male fertility, because they prevent the deposition of sperm into the vagina.

  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction ( impotence)
  • Anejaculation
  • While some  of these conditions may respond  to behavioral therapy and medication, for many men, the infertility is best treated with medical interventions, such as self insemination or IUI or IVF.   

Read more- Male Infertility Treatment and Why it Does Not Work


There are several causes of male infertility, which can prevent a man from impregnating his partner. Most of these are treatable, but some require assisted reproductive technology for treatment.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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