Book an Appointment
fertility treatments

17 Most Common Causes of Male Infertility

  • 4.6 (6 Votes)

Male infertility prevents a man to have his own baby and some of the common reasons of infertility include alcohol consumption, being overweight, emotional stress, excessive usage of the illicit drugs, presence of varicocele and infections, ejaculatory issues as well as the past history of reproductive organs surgery.

Male infertility is a condition in which a man does not have sufficient levels of fertility, which ultimately leads to the lack of occurrence of positive pregnancy in the female partner. It is important to know that male infertility is one of the major reasons for a couple to opt for infertility treatments such as IVF, IUI, ICSI or TESA. If a male partner does not have optimum sperm count, motility and morphology then he is considered to have low fertility levels. 40% of the cases in which couples are not able to have their babies are due to male infertility only. Like every medical condition and disorder, male infertility also has a set of causes, which one must know to avoid them whenever possible. Here are 17 major causes of male infertility, which lead to an increase in the cases of infertility in males.

1. Alcohol consumption and smoking  

Alcohol consumption and smoking lead to the tremendous decrease in the fertility levels of males. It is usually thought that alcohol consumption does not have any negative impact on the overall health of men. But this is just a myth. In the latest researches, it has been proven that alcohol and smoking have a negative effect on the reproductive health and fertility levels in the individuals. It is essential that one stops smoking or gradually reduces the frequency of smoking to restore fertility back.

Alcohol consumption and smoking

2. Emotional Stress

Stress is an inevitable part of the most of individuals’ life, which leads to different types of health issues from time to time. You will be surprised to know that stress leads to the reduction in the quality and number of sperm count in an individual. It also leads to a lower percentage of normal sperm morphology. When a man is under stress, the levels of cortisol hormone increase which ultimately leads to the reduction in the production of testosterone hormone, a hormone necessary for the sperm production. Although stress is unavoidable, you need to know that stress levels need to be controlled with the implementation of the right steps and actions, if you want to avoid the occurrence of male infertility.    

3. Obesity

Excessive weight or obesity is the condition in which there is an unwanted accumulation of the fats in the body of a human being. One needs to understand that being overweight not only has a deep impact on the overall well being of the individual but also compromises male fertility levels in the body. It is found that the sperm quality and health are poor in men who are overweight. Due to weight issues, the man finds it difficult to ejaculate in a proper way. In this way, males who are obese or overweight face a lot of difficulties in having their own kids.


4. Illicit Drugs usage and consumption

A number of individuals are opting for steroids and medications to achieve optimum level of fitness. Fitness freaks use anabolic steroid to stimulate muscle growth and improve the strength of body. These steroids lead to the shrinkage of testicles and there is a major decrease in the sperm production. Also, when an individual consumes cocaine or marijuana, then there is a major effect on the sperm quality and numbers as well. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid illicit drug use as it can affect your testosterone levels in the body.   

5. Chemical and heavy metal exposures

We live in an environment where there are different types of pollutants present, which reach us and enter our body via food along with consumer and industrial waste. Some of these toxic chemicals include toluene, benzene, xylene, pesticides, herbicides and painting materials. It is important to know that these chemicals and heavy metal exposure affect our body in two major ways.

  • First of all, the heavy metals get deposited in the most important parts of the body, which includes brain, heart, liver, and kidneys along with other parts of the body.
  • These chemicals and heavy metal exposure lead to the displacement of essential nutrients present in the body.

As these components stay in our environment along with the process of bioaccumulation, we cannot completely avoid them in our environment but one can take the right precautions to prevent the harmful affects of these chemicals.

6. Overheating the testicles

Testicles are one of the important parts of a man’s reproductive system. Testicles are needed to be at a temperature which is 4 degrees lesser than the normal body temperature. Men are constantly in touch with different elements and resources that lead to the increase in the temperature of testicles. Some of the environmental causes include cooking, grilling, hot tubs, saunas, laptops, smart phones, tight-fitting clothing and cycling excessively. So, one must keep a balance when coming in contact with the above environmental factors to prevent any kind of negative effects on the body.

overheating the testicles


Varicocele is the enlargement of veins in the scrotum. It leads to the increased temperature of scrotum (skin portion containing testicles) of a man. Varicocele affects the quality of the sperm in a negative manner. With every 1 degree of temperature elevation in the sperms and testis, there is up to 40% reduction of the sperm count. Also, around 40% of men are affected by varicocele. The best part is that varicocele is one of the most common causes, which can be reversed as well.

8. Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

There are different types of infections, which lead to increased chances of infertility in males. Some of these infections include STD’s, Chlamydia and Human Papilloma Virus infections. These infections have a major negative effect on the reproductive health of men. Some of the infections like Chlamydia can also lead to permanent infertility in men. Therefore, one must make sure to get them diagnosed and treated at the right time to avoid any severe consequences in the near future.

Don’t forget to explore our article on Benefits and Uses Tips of Female Condoms. Female condoms are in wide use these days.

9. Ejaculation issues

Ejaculation is the semen discharge from the penis after intercourse, which is followed by male orgasm. Ejaculatory issues are quite common in men, which needs to be diagnosed and treated at the right time to avoid piling up of problems in the mental health as well as overall health of the man. There are different health conditions, which lead to the ejaculatory disorders. This includes diabetes mellitus, excessive intake of medication, spinal injuries, surgeries of bladder, urethra or even prostate.

Ejaculation issues

Also, read about various types of Male Ejaculation Disorders and Treatments.

10. Tumors

Cancers and tumors can sometimes affect the male reproductive organs directly. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer seen in males these days. Cancer in prostate stops the functioning of prostate gland and the man suffering from it starts to have fertility problems. In some cases where cancer has already advanced to the last stage, various treatments are suggested to the patients such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat tumors, which can permanently damage the male fertility.

11. Undescended testicles

During fetal development, one or both the testicles fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains the testicles. Such males can have fertility problems when they grow up. Undescended testicles can be due to birth defect, premature birth or genetic defect.

TESA helps the couples to have a baby even when the male is suffering from NIL sperm count. Learn more about TESA, What is TESA (Testicular Epididymal Sperm Aspiration)?

12. Hormone imbalance

Hormonal imbalance and male infertility are closely associated with each other. Hormonal imbalance accounts for 10% of the total cases of male infertility. In case of hormonal imbalance, the man suffers from low libido, abnormal hair growth along with erectile dysfunction.

13. Defects of tubules that transport sperm

Tubes carrying the sperms such as vas deferens can be blocked due to various causes, including injury from surgery, prior infections, and abnormal development, with cystic fibrosis or similar inherited conditions. Blockage can occur at any level, including within the testicle, in the tubes that drain the testicle, in the epididymis, in the vas deferens, near the ejaculatory ducts or in the urethra.

14. Chromosomal defects

Inherited disorders can also cause abnormal development of male reproductive organs. In some men, there is a presence of one extra X chromosome. This leads to chromosomal defects in men, which ultimately leads to abnormality in the chromosomes involved in the development and functioning of male reproductive organs.

15. Problems with sexual intercourse

Males having ejaculatory disorders and erectile dysfunction find it hard to have sexual intercourse, which ultimately leads to infertility. They might be suffering from the problems such as trouble keeping or maintaining an erectionsufficient for performing intercourse, painful intercourse,premature ejaculation, anatomical abnormalities or low sex libido.

16.  Certain medications

Some medications including testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, ulcer drugs can lead to fertility damage unknowingly. Excessive intake of medications will lead to reduced quality of sperm production, thus decreasing male fertility levels. It is always advised to consult a doctor or an expert before starting any supplement or medicine.


17. Prior Surgeries

Surgeries which are directly associated with male reproductive organs or nearby organs such as vasectomy, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or testicular surgery can have an undesirable impact on male fertility. These surgeries prevent a man from having the adequate amount of sperms in ejaculate, which is a prominent evidence of male infertility.

So, these are some of the most common causes of male infertility. You need to keep in mind that male infertility needs to be dealt with in a positive way. Don’t worry if you have irreversible infertility because with the advancements in Science, you have some treatment options such as TESA, ICSI, IMSI where your sperms are utilized to have a baby. Call at +917899912611 to know about various treatments options available for a particular fertility problem.

Dr. Sunil Eshwar

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist Dr. Sunil Eshwar

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


  1. Must know risk factors of pregnancy after 30 pregnancy, Elawoman - 2017
  2. What is in-vitro fertilization (ivf) and its needs IVF, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Diagnostics to identify infertility in men male infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Commom fertility problems: obstacles to pregnancy cases of infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  5. Smoking while trying to conceive smoking, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Try ayurvedic medicine and procedure to increase fertility fertility, Elawoman - 2017
  7. How stress affects pregnancy Stress, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Vitamins and minerals to help increase sperm count sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Role of semen analysis in male infertility evaluation sperm morphology, Elawoman - 2018
  10. 9 best cardio exercises for weight loss Excessive weight, Elawoman - 2018



Varun Shahdev

Quality points listed in the article. Thanks for sharing.

Oct. 11, 2018, 3:28 p.m. 5.0


Sheetal Chandra

Men with low sperm count or erection dysfunction can use apple cider vinegar and protein rich food to overcome these problems.

Oct. 3, 2018, 6:55 p.m. 4.5


Deepak Pal

I have hypothyroid so I am heavier than required. Is that mean, I have male infertility? Is there any way to fix this?

Sept. 1, 2018, 4:10 p.m. 4.5


Narendra Jha

I always use laptop keeping it on my laps, I never knew it causes infertility. Thanks for sharing this, I will avoid doing this.

Aug. 17, 2018, 7:11 p.m. 4.5


Darmesh Makhija

I had my hernia surgery at a very young age. Is it going to trouble me and my wife to conceive now?

Aug. 15, 2018, 12:06 p.m. 4.5


Santosh Vineeta

Aug. 9, 2018, 6:13 p.m. 4.5

View all comments

Leave a Comment



The information displayed on this webpage covers general information on several medical conditions, fertility treatments, IVF ICSI, surrogacy procedure, home remedies, and their respective treatments. The exclusive purpose of the displayed information is for the sake of general understanding and it has been collected from open sources which heavily rely on research and laboratory tests. However, the information shared here should not be considered as a medical advice or an alternative to consultation with a registered medical practitioner or licensed healthcare professional.

It is not advised to self-diagnose or treat any medical condition or disease following the information given in this article. We insist you to consult a registered practitioner and never try to replace their advice or discontinue treatment in between by relying solely on the information obtained. External links to different websites as well as videos given on the website serve the purpose of sharing knowledge only. Ela being an Independent Medical Information platform is neither responsible nor guarantees the authenticity, reliability, and accuracy of these videos and websites in any way. We do not intend the information displayed here to be used for a medical emergency, if you seek medical attention for yourself (or any other person with whom you want to share the information with), we advise you to directly get in touch with the hospital or the doctor.

Related Article view all

Fertility Treatments
Advantages and Disadvantages of ZIFT
Dr. Mukta Kapila
Dr. Mukta Kapila 4.5 (1 Votes)

Advantages and Disadvantages of ZIFT

Termed as the modified version of IVF, Zygote IntraFallopian Transfer (ZIFT) is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) method, used in cases where blocked fallopian tube/s make it impossible for sperm to reach egg for fertilization. Know more about ZIFT process, its cost and advantages.

Read More

Fertility Treatments
Embryo Freezing, Embryo Cryopreservation and Thawing Process
Dr. Neha Gupta
Dr. Neha Gupta 4.5 (1 Votes)

Embryo Freezing, Embryo Cryopreservation and Thawing Process

Embryo freezing is a process that allows an embryo to be frozen for a specific period for future pregnancy. Enhance your understanding on processes of Slow Programmable Freezing and Vitrification along with benefits and disadvantages of embryo freezing.

Read More

Fertility Treatments
What are the Chances for IVF Treatment Success?
Dr. Arti Gupta
Dr. Arti Gupta 4.8 (6 Votes)

What are the Chances for IVF Treatment Success?

A number of factors can impact the result in an IVF cycle. Hence one must be aware of the fact that factors like age, previous pregnancy records, type of infertility problem and life-style etc are very much capable of deciding the fate of the IVF cycle. Success rate for young couples is more than 40% while couples aged more than 35 years have lesser chances of IVF success.

Read More

More From Author

Fertility Basics
Causes and Natural Remedies for Infertility
Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Dr. Sunil Eshwar 4.6 (6 Votes)

Causes and Natural Remedies for Infertility

Infertility is a concerning problem.You should keep a track on ovul...

Read More

Fertility Basics
Infertility Profiling Tests to Check if not Getting Pregnant
Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Dr. Sunil Eshwar 4.6 (7 Votes)

Infertility Profiling Tests to Check if not Getting Pregnant

Infertility Profiling Tests help you pin down the reason behind you...

Read More

Fertility Basics
Environmental and Occupational Factors Affecting Female Fertility
Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Dr. Sunil Eshwar 4.6 (6 Votes)

Environmental and Occupational Factors Affecting Female Fertility

About one third of infertility cases in the world are due to women ...

Read More

Trending Articles


5 Best Surrogacy Doctors in India

Find the list of best surrogacy doctors in India who offers the best treatment with the highest success rate. The list has been categorized on the basis of doctors fame, experience, reviews, ratings, and cost. Dr. Mohit Saraogi from Saraogi Hospitals and IRIS IVF Centre and Dr. Kaberi Banerjee from Advanced Fertility Centre top the list of the best surrogacy doctors in India.

Read More 4.5 (1 Votes)


Best IVF Doctors in India with Highest Success Rates

Find here the list of best IVF doctors in India on the basis of Ratings, Success Rate, Services offered, IVF cost packages and available Facilities. Dr. Nisha Bhatnagar, Dr. Kaberi Banerjee and Dr. Anjali A Deval top the list of such IVF doctors in India due to their unique pricing system, popularity and high success rate.

Read More 4.7 (3 Votes)


Top Surrogacy Centres in India with Highest Success Rates

In this article we bring you the best Surrogacy Centers and clinics in India with Review Ratings, Cost Estimates, and Surrogacy Success Rate to help you make the best choice. Aveya IVF and Surrogacy Centre and Advanced Fertility and Surrogacy Centre tops the list of such surrogacy centres in India due to their low treatment costs, popularity and high success rates.

Read More 4.8 (2 Votes)