The causes of male infertility

The causes of male infertility

Male infertility is often caused by sperm abnormalities in male. Abnormality in sperm production or function may cause chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, resulting in a non-viable pregnancy which would eventually lead to a miscarriage.

Factors affecting sperm production and semen quality:

  • Enlargement of the veins in the scrotum (testicles)
  • Infection (e.g: inflammation of the epididymis or testicles and some sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Antisperm antibodies (produced by own immune system, attack and eliminate own sperm)
  • Tumors that affect male reproductive organs directly
  • Cryptorchidism (one or both testes are not present within the scrotum)
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Chromosomal abnormalities/defects (e.g: Klinefelter’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Kallmann’s syndrome)
  • Celiac disease (digestive disorder)
  • Certain medication (e.g: Testosterone replacement therapy, long term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications, etc)


Factors affecting semen ejaculation:

  • Defect / blockage of the tubules that transport sperm (eg: blockage in the epididymis, or vas deferens, near the ejaculatory ducts or in the urethra)
  • Ejaculation dysfunction (E.g: Premature ejaculation – ejaculation happens too soon, Delayed ejaculation – ejaculation happens too late, Retrograde ejaculation – semen containing sperm enters the bladder instead of ejaculating out)
  • Erectile dysfunction (unable to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse)
  • Decrease in sexual desire (Low libido / sex drive)


Environmental factors:

  • Pesticides exposure
  • Exposure to heavy metals
  • Radiation or X-ray exposure
  • Expose testicles to elevated temperature (E.g: Frequent use of saunas or soaking in hot baths, working on a laptop and placing it on your lap, etc)


Social / Lifestyle factors:

  • Drug use (E.g: Anabolic steroids that increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Obesity
  • Age

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