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There are a number of factors that cause male infertility- these range from psychological problems and physical anomalies to a number of other things. Typically, these causes can be categorized into 4 broad sections. It’s commonly believed that a person who is fertile is also healthy, which is a fallacy. Even otherwise healthy men can be infertile. Take a look at the factors that affect male fertility:

Lifestyle Choices

In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s not uncommon to see people follow an unhealthy lifestyle, and these become major causes of male infertility:

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Use of drugs like marijuana can decrease sperm counts
  • Overuse of anabolic steroids
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals

It’s important to note that making a conscious change in your lifestyle can significantly help improve male fertility. While the results won’t be immediately noticeable, being persistent with giving up these bad habits, eating healthy food etc can go a long way in boosting fertility.

Hormonal Problems

It’s true that a very few male infertility case are diagnosed to be caused by hormonal problems; however, it’s important to be aware of these. In most cases, it’s possible to treat these problems, such as:

  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism 
  • Panhypopituitafism 

Medical Problems

Infertility can also be caused by certain medical problems, such as:

  • Damaged sperm ducts (vas and the epidisymis)- these conditions result in obstructive azoospermia as the sperm get blocked 
  • Torsion of the testes - this causes testicular damage 
  • Male reproductive tract infections- these cause both low sperm count as well as low motility
  • ElevatedFSH levels- It is an indication that can lead to the arrest of the fertility
  • Genetic problems- Klinefelter’s Syndrome

Read more-Male Infertility Tests beyond the Semen Analysis

Sexual Problems

Sexual problems can impact male fertility; this is because these prevent the sperm from getting deposited in the vagina and include:

Though it’s true that some of these medical conditions may respond well to medication and behavioral therapy for a number of men, its best to treat this type of infertility with medical interventions such as IUI, IVF or self insemination.

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


There are a number of factors which can cause male infertility and can prevent a man from fathering a child. In most instances, these conditions are treatable; however in some cases, assisted reproductive technology may be the only option.

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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

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