The Fertility Center

A blog about fertility issues, treatments and trends from the specialists at Greenwich Fertility.

April 24, 2018

Medical Issues That Can Cause Male Infertility

By Barry R. Witt, M.D.

When you think about infertility, it’s easy to forget that men are half of the equation. Did you know that men make up 50% of infertility cases? Illness, injury, age, health problems and other lifestyle choices can all be factors that contribute to male infertility.

Here are some medical issues that can affect a man’s fertility:

Low Sperm Count
Low sperm count can be caused by a number of medical reasons along with lifestyle choices.  The most common lifestyle choices that have the greatest impact on lowering sperm count are drug and alcohol use, smoking, obesity, emotional stress and certain occupations.

Genetic Abnormalities
Genetic abnormalities can cause male infertility by affecting sperm production or the ability for sperm to be ejaculated. These often involve abnormalities of the Y chromosome but may also be a result of an extra X chromosome or a gene mutation such as in the cystic fibrosis gene.

These may result in a very low sperm count or absent sperm in the semen.  Many of these disorders can be successfully treated and lead to pregnancies.

Kallman Syndrome
Kallman Syndrome is a rare male infertility disorder that affects males more than females, and is usually identified because of delayed puberty. Males can be treated with hormones so that puberty occurs and eventually they can produce sperm. A common finding related to this congenital defect is that men are lacking the sense of smell.

Dilated Testicle Veins (Varicoceles)
Due to the pooling of blood in this vein, the temperature of the testicle may be elevated. This can lead to abnormalities in sperm count, motility or morphology (shape).

Sometimes varicocele surgery will improve a man’s semen analysis results, but it takes at least three months to see an improvement.

Doctors can perform a semen analysis to determine the health of a male’s sperm. During this analysis, the doctor will count the number of sperm in the sample, test the motility and study the morphology or shape of the specimen. The test also will look for signs of infection.


If you and your partner are having trouble with conceiving, contact our team of infertility specialists today for a consultation.

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