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Top 10 Signs of Infertility in Men

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

According to studies, up to 15 percent of couples face infertility, which means that they are unable to conceive even having regular intercourse unprotected for a year or longer. In more than a third of these couples, male infertility plays a role.



Problems with sex functions in men:

Erection or ejaculation problems, low sex drive are examples of the sex problems in men that can lead to infertility.

Retrograde ejaculation is very common in males with infertility. This is the condition in which the semen enters the bladder during the orgasm rather than emerging out of the tip of the penis. Various conditions can lead to retrograde ejaculation, such as diabetes, medications or surgery of the bladder, urethra or prostate.


Varicocele refers to the swelling of the veins that drain the testicle. It is a very common sign of infertility but the reason behind it is unknown. It may be related to the abnormal testicular temperature. It can also result in a reduced quality of the sperms. However, by treating varicocele, we can improve the sperm number and function and can also improve the outcomes by using assisted reproductive techniques, such as the in-vitro fertilization.


Some infections can cause the blocking of the veins, leading to infertility and can cause scarring that can hinder the passage of the sperms. These include inflammation of the epididymis or testicles known as epididymitis or orchitis or even some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or HIV.

Some infections can lead to permanent sperm damage, so better to talk to your doctor immediately after you find any of the above signs.

Antibodies defect:

Antisperm antibodies are the immune system cells that identify the sperm cells as harmful invaders and try to destroy them and eradicate them from the body. This is an autoimmune disease, so it is very difficult to get diagnosed and treated.


Cancerous or non-malignant tumors can also affect the glands that release hormones to the reproductive organs, such as the pituitary gland. However, in some cases the surgeries related to the reproductive organs or radiotherapy or chemotherapy can also affect the sperm count and thus, the fertility.

Undescended testicles:

In some babies, during fetal life, the testes fail to get descended into the sac that is scrotum and remain in the abdomen. This is the main cause of less fertility in males who have had such a problem in their early life.

Hormonal imbalance:

Hormonal imbalances can not only affect female fertility but also male fertility. The conditions that affect the normal release of the hormones whether due to the disorder of the testicles or any abnormality related to it, can cause infertility in males. Low testosterone or other hormonal problems can have several possible underlying causes.

Chromosomal defects:

Inherited disorders such as Klinefelter's syndrome, in which a male is born with two X and a Y chromosome while normally a male has one X and one Y chromosome, can cause abnormal development of the male sex organs. Other genetic disorders associated with it are cystic fibrosis, Kallman's syndrome and Kartagener's syndrome.

Celiac disease:

This is a digestive disorder caused by the sensitivity of gluten. This can cause male infertility. The problem can be resolved by adapting to a gluten-free diet.

Medical conditions:

Certain medicines or medical conditions may also be responsible for infertility in men. For example, testosterone replacement therapy, long term metabolic steroid use, certain antifungal medications, and ulcer treatment, can hinder sperm production. Also, some surgeries may prevent you from having a normal amount of the sperm including vasectomy, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or testicular surgeries, as well as prostate surgeries. In most cases, a surgery can be performed to reverse the blockage.

Other than these, there are some more signs of infertility in males, such as pain, swelling in the testicular area or any lump present there, recurrent respiratory infections, abnormal breast growth, which is also known as gynecomastia, decreased facial hair or other signs of chromosomal abnormality. Whatever is the sign, you need to look for it and ask for the advice of your doctor, so that there would be early diagnosis and thus, the treatment could be started right away since that would ensure an early recovery as well.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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