Nearly 1 in 7 couples is infertile, which means they haven’t been able to conceive a child even though they’ve had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of these couples, male infertility plays at least a partial role.
Male infertility can be caused by low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors may contribute to male infertility.
The inability to conceive a child can be stressful and frustrating, but a number of treatments are available for male infertility.
The main sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. There may be no other obvious signs or symptoms.
In some cases, however, an underlying problem such as an inherited disorder, hormonal imbalance, dilated veins around the testicle or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm causes signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms you may notice include:
Problems with sexual function — for example, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
·Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
·Recurrent respiratory infections
·Inability to smell
·Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia)
·Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality
·A lower than normal sperm count (fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or a total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculate)
When to see a doctor
See a doctor if you have been unable to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or sooner if you have any of the following:
·Erection or ejaculation problems, low sex drive, or other problems with sexual function
·Pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicle area
·A history of testicle, prostate or sexual problems
·A groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery
·A partner over age 35
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