Causes And Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Infertility in Men

Male infertility can be related to a number of health conditions:

  • A structural defect, such as a blockage that prevents semen from being released
  • Low hormone levels
  • Genetic problems
  • Varicocele, or varicose veins surrounding the testicles
  • Birth defects
  • Chromosomal defects
  • Sperm antibodies
  • Certain medicines for conditions such as arthritis, depression, high blood pressure or cancer

What are the risk factors for male infertility?

Men who have had the following habits or conditions may be at a greater risk of infertility:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Heavy alcohol usage
  • Smoking (tobacco or marijuana)
  • Undescended or twisted testicles
  • Exposure of the testicles to high temperatures
  • Hernia surgery
  • History of prostatitis
  • Mumps after puberty
  • Toxic exposure, including radiation, radioactivity and certain chemicals

Diagnoses of male infertility

Tests used to diagnose male infertility and its causes include:

  • Sperm analysis: Technologists will analyze a sample of your semen for its acidity, the sperm count, how well they move and their overall shape.
  • Blood tests: Your blood sample will be analyzed for hormone levels and the presence of other diseases that may lead to infertility.
  • Biopsy: In rare cases, a small sample of testicular tissue will be analyzed under a microscope to determine the cause of sperm underproduction.

Related Resources

Patient Questionnaire for Men: The information provided on this questionnaire will help provide a more complete evaluation and will be kept confidential.