What causes infertility in men?

As we mentioned in the previous articles, infertility is one of the major problems of young couples. We have explained some of the reasons for this issue in previous articles. In this article, we will introduce you to the factors that, if they are present in men, the probability of infertility increases a lot.

Infertility is a problem that plagues many young couples and forces them to find a way to avoid this problem by frequently visiting doctors and laboratories, but they do not have enough knowledge of the type of problem or the process of their examination. It is hoped that by reading this article to take steps to solve their problem with more knowledge.

Risk factors related to male infertility
– Having a history of prostate or genital infection

– History of injury to the testicles or rotation of the testicles, history of early or late puberty

Contact with toxic materials during work such as copper, cadmium and mercury, ethylene oxide, vinyl chloride, radioactive materials and radiation

– Smoking

– Alcohol consumption in large quantities

– Contact of genital areas with high temperatures

– Hernia repair

– The testicle has not descended

– Medicines used during wounds or psoiasis

– A history of taking diacetylbestrol by the mother during pregnancy and a history of having mumps during puberty

– Diabetes

The main causes of male infertility can be divided into several main groups:

Sperm-related disorders: These disorders can be secondary to various causes. such as infectious or inflammatory diseases such as mumps, hormonal disorders, immunological disorders, environmental and lifestyle factors, and genetic diseases

Cystic fibrosis disease: It is a hereditary disease in which the number of sperms is very low and sometimes it is accompanied by the absence of sperm tubes.

Sickle cell anemia

Structural disorders of the reproductive system

Liver, kidney diseases

Receiving anticonvulsant drugs

Like air pollution and the amount of lead in the air, it is especially effective in causing infertility in men.

Now let’s examine some of the above:

Abnormal sperm

All men have abnormal sperm, which is acceptable up to their percentage. Abnormal sperm may have two heads or no tail at all.

If abnormal sperm count is too high in a man’s semen, it can have a negative effect on fertility. Some experts believe that abnormal sperm have difficulty passing through the fallopian tube and piercing the egg wall. A large number of sperms can increase the probability of fertility and their normality also plays a vital role in fertility.

The results of a research have shown that men with low sperm count can still be fertile, provided that the percentage of normal sperm in them is high.


A varicocele is a dilation of the veins around the testicle.
This complication does not often cause a problem for male fertility, but it can cause damage to sperm production by increasing the temperature of the testicles. For this reason, closing these veins (varicocele surgery) has corrected the fertility problem in some affected men and has not affected others. Unfortunately, doctors cannot predict who will benefit from varicocele treatment and who will not.

Obstruction (cramping) in a part of the male reproductive system can have a negative effect on male fertility by blocking the sperm exit path and preventing ejaculation. These blockages can be caused by lesions caused by infections such as mycoplasma or ureaplasma, as well as previous surgeries. A severe injury from a hard kick to the groin in some sports can even stop sperm production in the testicles.

The testicles have not descended
This complication is the failure of the testicle to descend from the abdominal cavity into the scrotum during the development of the fetus in the mother’s womb. In children with this disease, a surgical method is used to insert the testicle into the scrotum. In case of late diagnosis and as a result of late surgery, this problem can have a negative effect on male fertility.

Other diseases
Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders, thyroid gland diseases and diabetes insipidus can interfere with the hormonal control of sperm production. Infections of the prostate and epididymis (the tube-shaped structure located on the top of each testicle) can interfere with sperm production or block the exit duct. Other infections, such as orchitis (swelling of the testicles) caused by mumps, can cause permanent disbelief.

Obesity Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health in North Carolina, along with recent research, showed that there is a connection between obesity and infertility in men.
By studying 2,111 couples in North Carolina, where the men were mostly farmers and their body mass index was 3 units higher than normal, they found that despite having marital relations without using contraceptive methods, these men 10 A higher percentage than other men were suffering from infertility. According to these scientists, obese men usually have fewer marital relationships, which has a great impact on their fertility.

Lack of trace elements:

The concentration of trace elements in the semen of fertile and infertile men is different and the concentration of these elements is effective in male fertility.

The concentration of calcium in all fertile and infertile groups is higher than the concentration of other elements and its effect is on sperm methylity and induction of germ cell reaction in mammalian sperm.
The second element that has the highest concentration in semen after calcium is zinc, which together with magnesium exerts stimulating and inhibiting effects on sperm movement.
Copper has been reported as an element that causes great toxicity to sperm in infertile groups more than in fertile groups.
Men’s infertility may be associated with abnormalities such as epididymis blockage, immunological disorder and local infection.
Due to the fact that there is currently no proper understanding of the physiological role of trace elements and its relationship with infertility, with the advancement of techniques related to the analysis of trace elements in cement and other biological fluids, researches in this field have increased.

Inflammatory body of men:
Researchers have identified an unusual particle called macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF) in samples obtained from the sperm of infertile men.

Inflammation occurs when the body is exposed to infections such as blood infections, immune disorders, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. This factor appears under these conditions and is related to some tissue lesions.

After the investigation, the researchers came to the conclusion that in men with fertility problems, their IF levels are too high or too low. Proper and optimal levels of MIF help sperms to mature. When experts added this agent to containers containing healthy sperm, the number and rate of sperm movement decreased.

According to the report of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, there are currently 1.2 million infertile couples living in the United States, and 40% of them are men.

Absence of excretory ducts:

It causes obstructive infertility in men, and its occurrence in the form of bilateral vas deferens (transspermic duct) or unilateral vas deferens is highly prevalent in Iran.

Having diabetes causes 60% damage to men’s DNA, which will lead to their infertility. According to research, with increased blood sugar and excess weight, the amount of DNA damage increases.

In a research, 56 30-year-old men, 27% of whom had diabetes, were examined.
The rate of DNA damage in diabetic men was reported to be 52%, while this figure was only 32% in healthy men.

How can the causes of male infertility be recognized?

In addition to obtaining a complete history from the individual and the family and performing complete examinations to diagnose the cause of male infertility, special tests must also be performed, which include:

– Multiple semen test: at least two samples should be taken on two different occasions at different times and examined in terms of various factors, which include the volume of semen, consistency, number of sperms, and their shape and movement.

– Ultrasound: to determine varicocele and other structural complications of the testicle

– Other tests: These tests are used to determine the cause of sperm disorders or diseases of the male reproductive system

Treatment of male infertility

The choice of treatment method by the doctor depends on the patient’s age, general health and medical history, the extent of the disease, the person’s ability to tolerate drugs, different treatment and surgery methods, how to expect the course of the disease and the patient’s own preference.

Currently, there are many treatment methods, which can be referred to laboratory methods and the use of special drugs and special surgical methods to eliminate the underlying disease.

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