Male Infertility

male infertility

Male Infertility

Male infertility – defined as an inability of male reproductive organs to conceive offspring – has recently emerged as a serious topic of conversation, often overshadowed by discussions around female fertility. While overshadowed by female fertility discussions, male infertility remains integral in couples’ attempts at starting families; we will explore causes, diagnostic processes and treatments available, emotional effects on individuals as well as couples alike in this article.

Understanding Male Infertility:

Fertility issues typically originate with one partner; male infertility accounts for 40-50% of all cases of infertility cases in couples undergoing regular, unprotected sexual relations over 12 months. Although it’s easy to assume fertility concerns stem solely from female partners, male infertility accounts for approximately 40%-50% of total fertility issues in relationships.


1. Sperm Production and Quality:  Sperm production quality can range anywhere between 0.5-2.00mm per inch of length, according to manufacturer specifications.

  • Low Sperm Count (Oligospermia): Low levels of sperm production can decrease the chances of fertilization.
  • Abnormal Sperm Shape (Teratospermia): Sperm that lack the required shape may find it more challenging than intended to penetrate an egg, hindering the successful fertilization of its contents.
  • Poor Sperm Motility (Asthenospermia): Sperm with limited mobility may struggle to reach and fertilize an egg successfully, ultimately hindering fertilization efforts.
2. Obstacles to Sperm Release (ejaculation):
  • Blocked sperm release (blockages in the reproductive tract, which prevent the free release of sperm when needed, are among obstructive factors.

3. Hormonal Imbalances:

  • Low Testosterone Levels: Hormone imbalances may impact sperm production and sexual function negatively.

4. Varicocele:

  • Enlarged Veins: When veins in the scrotum dilate excessively, their dilation increases temperature levels near the testicles and inhibits their production, impacting sperm production negatively.

5. Genetic Factors:

  • Chromosomal Abnormalities: If genetic abnormalities exist, this could result in reduced production or function of sperm.

6. Lifestyle and Environmental Factors:

  • Smoking and Alcohol Can Affect Sperm Production/Quality
  • Environmental Toxins: Exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants has been linked with fertility problems in animals.

Diagnosing Male Infertility:

  • Semen Analysis:  An extensive semen analysis measures sperm count, motility, morphology, and other aspects that contribute to male infertility.
  • Hormone Testing: Blood tests can identify hormone imbalances affecting fertility.
  • Physical Examination and History Review: Medical history review and physical exam can uncover potential underlying conditions.
  • Imaging Studies: Ultrasound imaging can detect obstructions or structural abnormalities within your body’s walls that would otherwise go undetected.

Treatment Options:

  • Medication: Hormonal therapy may provide relief for imbalances affecting sperm production.
  • Surgery: When used properly, surgery can remove obstructions, repair varicoceles, and address anatomical concerns.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Sperm is placed directly into the uterus during ovulation to encourage fertilization and boost conception rates.
  • IVF (In Vitro Fertilization): Eggs and sperm are fertilized outside the body before embryos are transferred back into your uterus for development.
  • Donor Sperm: Donor Sperm may be necessary when male infertility is extreme and untreatable or when all other means have failed.


Emotional Impact : Male infertility can bring with it many mixed emotions

  • such as feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and shame.
  • The strain on relationships due to emotional stress and disappointment.
  • Anxiety and depression caused by fertility struggles can become very burdensome.


Male infertility is an intricate issue that requires thoughtful consideration and support from family members and healthcare providers. Advances in medical technology and treatments provide hope to individuals and couples facing fertility difficulties. Through proper diagnosis, informed choice-making, open dialogue with partners facing male infertility challenges, and professional assistance such as fertility specialists and emotional support groups; couples can navigate this terrain toward becoming parents.


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