ARIZONA STATE UROLOGICAL INSTITUTE The Center for Comprehensive Urological Care

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Male Infertility

Infertility is the Inability to Conceive a Child

What Is Infertility and What Causes It?

Nearly 1 in 7 couples is infertile, meaning that they could not conceive a child despite having unprotected sexual intercourse for 12 months or longer. Male infertility occurs when a man is not able to conceive a child because of low sperm production, blockages in the reproductive system, abnormal sperm function, or another reason. The male factor is fully or partially responsible about 30-50% of the time. However, several other factors, like lifestyle choices, chronic illnesses, injuries, or other health problems, can contribute to male infertility. This can be frustrating, stressful, and emotionally draining, but there are several optimistic treatments to address this problem.

Other than the inability to conceive a child, there may be no other obvious symptoms. However, any number of underlying health problems may contribute to the infertility, including any of the following:

  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Problems with sexual function — for example, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire, or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia)
  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
  • Inability to smell
  • An abnormally low sperm count (fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or a total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculate)
  • Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality

What are Some Identifiable Causes for Infertility?

  • erectile or ejaculatory abnormalities
  • hormonal disorders
  • genetic disorders
  • smoking
  • infections
  • varicoceles, a dilated group of veins above the testicles that affects sperm production
  • obstructions from a prior vasectomy, hernia surgery, inflammation, or infection

There are several health issues, medical treatments, or procedures that can cause male fertility problems. Let our healthcare providers at ASUI help you navigate the uncertainties of male infertility and explore some treatment options that will work the best for you. Schedule an appointment today!

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