Sings & Symptoms
Male infertility symptoms may include:
- The inability to conceive a child
- Problems with sexual function — for example, difficulty reaching orgasm (delayed ejaculation) or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
- Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality
It is suggested to see a doctor if you:
- Are unable to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse
- Have erection or ejaculation problems, low sex drive, or other problems with sexual function
- Have pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicle area.
- Have a lower than normal sperm count (fewer than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen)
- Have a history of testicle, prostate or sexual problems
- Have had groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery
Risk factors linked to male infertility:
- Being age 35 or older
- Smoking tobacco
- Abusing alcohol
- Using certain illegal drugs
- Being overweight or underweight
- Having certain past or present infections
- Being exposed to toxins
- Overheating the testicles
- Having a prior vasectomy or vasectomy reversal
- Being born with a fertility disorder or having a blood relative with a fertility disorder
- Having certain medical conditions, including tumors and chronic illnesses
- Undergoing medical treatments, such as certain medications, surgery or radiation for cancer
- Bicycling for prolonged periods, especially on a hard seat or poorly adjusted bicycle
Our physicians are certified through the American Board of Urology.
Conception is a complex process that depends upon many factors: the production of healthy sperm by the man and healthy eggs by the woman; unblocked fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg; the sperm's ability to fertilize the egg when they meet; the ability of the fertilized egg (embryo) to become implanted in the woman's uterus; and good embryo quality. Finally, for the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman's hormonal environment adequate for its development. When just one of these factors is impaired, infertility can result.
Male infertility can be related to a man's inability to produce sperm cells, known in medical terms as azoospermia. Or it can be related to the production of low or poor quality sperm, oligospermia. Other problems that can occur include malformed sperm that cannot live long enough to fertilize the egg and genetic diseases that impair fertility.
The medical issues are only one side of the story behind male infertility. It is much more difficult to describe the psychological and emotional impact infertility has on a couple who want to have children. Many times, the desire to conceive a child becomes the total focus of their lives. Feelings of depression, loss, grief, inadequacy and failure are common in men as well as women trying to conceive.
Individuals or couples experiencing any of these feelings are encouraged to seek professional help from a counselor or psychologist experienced in dealing with infertility issues. A professional can help you deal realistically with the situation and provide support even while you are going through treatment.