What are the Causes of Male Infertility?

what are the causes of male infertility

A couple isn’t associated with having fertility issues until they have attempted to try for one year. If any couple is unable to conceive within one year of trying, there may be a serious fertility issue with one or both of the partners. There are many causes of male infertility as well as female infertility.

Around 30% of infertility problems in couples start in the females, 30% in the males, and 30% in both. No reason is viewed as in around one of every 10 couples researched for infertility. This is known as an ‘unexplained’ or ‘idiopathic’ type of infertility.

Some prominent signs of infertility in men are:

  • Low sperm count or any other sperm abnormality
  • Male with a family history of prostate problems and infertility
  • Swelling in the scrotum
  • Small testicles
  • Altered sexual desire (low libido) and functions

Causes of male infertility

Here, we are going to highlight the causes of male infertility. In a minimum portion of male impotency cases, specialists can’t distinguish a definite reason. In most cases, infertility is caused by a natural, hereditary, or other identifiable cause.

There are many significant explanations behind male infertility, in spite of the fact that they commonly don’t show apparent manifestations. Frequently, male infertility is just recognized after a couple’s diligent, ineffective trials at conception.

Male fertility is a complex process. To get your partner pregnant, the following must occur in male sperm:

  • Production of healthy sperm: this entirely depends on the natural formation of male reproductive organs during puberty. For this, the male testicle must function properly, and the hormonal synthesis should be normal to produce healthy sperm.
  • Sperm movement: If the sperm is abnormally motile or functioning, it will be unable to penetrate or reach towards the female egg. Thus, this is also a main cause of male infertility.

Clinical causes

Issues with male infertility can be brought about by various medical problems and clinical treatments:

  • Varicocele: The most common and treatable cause of male infertility is “varicocele” (enlargement of veins inside the scrotum) that depletes and voids the testicles due to abnormal blood flow. It is also one of the causes of low sperm count as well as inferior quality.
  • Infections: Some infections can also block the passage, damage the sperm health or may hinder the process of sperm production, such as inflammation in the testicles and epididymis, including sexually transmitted diseases. Some STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause genital inflammation, sperm ejaculation obstruction, and other symptoms that may be the main causes of low sperm count if left untreated.
  • Antibodies: Sometimes anti-sperm antibodies mistakenly attack the sperm and start destroying them just by identifying them as a foreign body.
  • Birth defection: during the time of the fetus’s development stage inside the mother’s womb, testicles fail to fit into the sac called the scrotum. This abnormal condition (undescended testicles) may also cause infertility in males.
  • Abnormality in glands: Insufficient hormone production may also occur due to abnormalities in the pituitary, adrenal, and hypothalamus glands, which may lead to male infertility.
  • Defects in tubules: the sperm carrying tubes may get blocked due to certain causes, such as prior infection, reproductive organs-related surgery, or any genetic abnormality. And this blockage can be in the urethra or in ejaculatory ducts that may directly affect the sperm quantity.
  • Defect in chromosomes: some genetic disorders, including Klinefelter’s syndrome, are also the cause of male infertility in some people. In this inherited disorder, a male has two X chromosomes and one Y (abnormal chromosomes: XXY), instead of the normal pair of chromosomes (XY), which causes abnormality in the male reproductive organs and eventually male infertility.
  • Disease: Diabetes or high blood glucose levels, as we know, increases the risk of infections, damages nerves and blood vessels, and causes some sexual problems such as low libido, balanitis, erectile dysfunction, and abnormal sperm ejaculation, which are the main signs of infertility in men. All these things contribute to male infertility. 

Men with diabetic conditions may suffer from azoospermia and low testosterone levels (a male hormone) more often compared to non-diabetic men. 

A digestive disorder is known as “celiac disease” may also contribute to male infertility if left undiagnosed. However, it is a temporary cause and can be improved by adopting a gluten-free diet.

  • Medications: Cancer medications or chemotherapy, steroids, and arthritis medications can also impair sperm production and function, thus diminishing male fertility and giving rise to various signs of infertility in men.
  • Surgeries: Some surgeries may cause sperm ejaculation problems, mainly vasectomy, prostatectomy, scrotal, abdominal, and prostrate surgeries, done for rectal or testicular cancers, or other illnesses related to the reproductive system. These come under the main causes of impotency.
  • Cycling, horse riding, and martial arts are other causes of testicular injuries that may cause functional defects and, eventually, subfertility-like conditions.
  • Cancer or malignant tumors: Another reason is that cancer or tumour may require chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery to be treated. It can affect the hormone-releasing pituitary gland and may harm the reproductive system.
  • It is a relatively uncommon cause in which the pituitary gland, which is regulated by the hypothalamus, produces insufficient male hormones known as gonadotropins. Apart from this, another hormone, prolactin, also may lead male infertility.
  • Overexposure to specific natural components like hotness, toxins, and synthetics can affect the quantity, quality, and functions of sperm. Some explicit causes include:
  • Exposure to herbicides, organic solvents, paints, pesticides, toxins, and other such chemicals, including heavy metals and industrial chemicals, may also give rise to low sperm counts or abnormal sperm function. So these things equally harm male fertility in some way.
  • X-rays and radiation: low doses of radiation can reduce sperm count, but high doses of radiation or X-rays can permanently damage sperm production.
  • Excess heat: in the case of males’ occupations, like transporters, welders, or firemen, or propensities, and people who like inordinate use of the hot tub bath (sauna), and prefer wearing tight apparel, may also be reasons for subfertility.
  • Use of addictive substances (marijuana or cocaine) or drugs and anabolic steroids may cause shrinkage of the testicles and lower the production of sperm, giving rise to some signs of infertility in men. The same goes with the excessive use of alcohol and tobacco, or smoking.
  • Obesity and overage: These factors also play an important role in male infertility by creating hormonal fluctuation, particularly at the testosterone level.