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    fertility basics

    Symptoms and Causes of Infertility in Men - How to deal with them?

    • 4.6   (5 Votes)
    Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MS, MBBS on 16 Jul 2018 - Written by Dr. Sunil Eshwar - MD, MBBS, DNB - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MS, MBBS

    Symptoms of Male infertility include reduced sexual desire, erection and ejaculation problems, and pain in testicles. Causes of infertility in men include increased alcohol drinking and smoking, stress, depression, and excessive use of medications.

    A man’s fertility or male fertility generally relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm count. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low in count/sperm count or if the sperm is of a poor quality or quantity, it will be difficult for men, and sometimes impossible for men, for him to cause a pregnancy.

    There are widespread causes of male infertility that are found in 40% couples. For about one in five infertile couples, the infertility problem lies simply in the male partner.

    Male Infertility, Fertility

    It is estimated that one in twenty men has some kind of infertility problem for one or more reasons with low numbers of sperm count in his ejaculation. However, only about one in every 100 men has no sperm in his ejaculation.

    What are the symptoms of male infertility?

    In most of the cases, no obvious signs of infertility are found. Intercourse, erections, and ejaculation will usually take place without difficulty. The quantity and quality of the ejaculated semen normally appear normal to the naked eyes. Medical tests are needed to be done to find the infertility problem.

    What are the causes of male infertility?

    Some causes of male infertility affect either sperm production or sperm transport. Through medical testing, doctors would be able to find the cause of infertility. 

    About two-third of infertile men have some problems with making sperm in the testes. Either due to the low numbers of sperm are made and/or the sperms that are made do not work properly.

    Sperm mobility problems are found in about one in every five infertile men, including in those men who have had a vasectomy but now wish to have more children.

    What are some common problems?

    Male Infertility

    Sperm production problems

    • Chromosomal or genetic causes
    • Infections
    • Torsion (twisting of the testis in scrotum)
    • Varicocele (varicose veins of the testes)
    • Medicines and chemicals
    • Radiation damage
    • Unknown cause

    Blockage of sperm transport

    • Infections
    • Prostate-related problems
    • The absence of vas deferens
    • Vasectomy

    Sexual problems (problem in erection and ejaculation)

    Male Fertility

    • Retrograde and premature ejaculation
    • Failure of ejaculation
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Infrequent intercourse
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Prostate surgery
    • Damage to nerves
    • Some medicines

    The male reproductive system

    The pituitary gland and the hypothalamus part is located at the base of the brain that controls the production of male hormones and sperm. The testes are a pair of egg-shaped glands that sit in the scrotum down to the base of the penis. The testes generally make sperm and the male sex hormone testosterone.

    Sperm analysis test can help in diagnosing your sperm count both in terms of quantity as well as quality. Regular intake of fertility boosting vitamins and minerals also helps in improving the sperm count gradually.

    Dr. Sunil Eshwar

    Written by

    Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist

    Dr. Sunil Eshwar is an Infertility specialist who is presently specializing in laparoscopic surgery, high-risk pregnancies and infertility treatments such as IVF and IUI. Dr. Sunil Eshwar completed his MBBS from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute in 2000 and MD from Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in 2004. Later, he completed DNB from National Board of Examination in 2006. Dr. Sunil Eshwar is currently practicing at Apollo Fertility, Brookfield, Bangalore. For more information about Dr. Sunil Eshwar, visit


    • How to improve sperm count - foods to increase sperm count  sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
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    • Male infertility - causes of infertility, male infertility tests  infertility, Elawoman - 2017
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    • Things you must know about donating sperm for infertility treatment  sperm, Elawoman - 2017
    • Normal sperm count and motility - affect of these factors on pregnancy  sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
    • How to improve sperm count - foods to increase sperm count  vitamins and minerals, Elawoman - 2017



    Bidhur Vaidya

    Every time I ejaculate, my sperm looks yellowish and thick. Is it a good quality sperm or I should have treatment. Please suggest!

    Oct. 11, 2018, 9:56 a.m. 5.0


    Satyam Rohila

    I never knew if I dont ejaculate better, I could have these lots of issues. Thanks for enlightening us, it was really helpful.

    July 12, 2018, 10:19 a.m. 4.5


    Manik Agarwal

    To avoid male infertility one should wear comfortable and airy clothes. Hot baths and saunas should not be taken for more than 30 mins.

    Aug. 23, 2017, 4:58 p.m. 4.5


    Jessica Claiborne

    Avocados, walnuts and berries are sperm-healthy foods and stimulate sperm count. Infact mangoes are also good for male fertility.

    Aug. 23, 2017, 4:56 p.m. 4.5


    Kate Doucet

    Male infertility is checked by sperm count. A healthy sperm count states that more than 40 million sperms should come out in one ejaculation.

    Aug. 23, 2017, 4:17 p.m. 4.5

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