Possible cause of infertility in men

The most common disorder of male fertility is the insufficient production of normal, motile sperms in the testicular canals.

Disorders in sperm maturation

The male seed is of "normal quality" when the sperm count is more than 20 million per milliliter sperm. Of those, 30 % must be normally formed and 50 % must have good motility. If these values are not met, the procreative ability of the man is limited.

>>> Read more on semen analysis

However, even when the semen analysis results are normal, a functional disorder can prevent the sperm entry into the egg cell. Abnormalities in sperm maturation can be caused by a testicular division resulting from Epidemic Parotitis (Mumps) that had occurred during childhood. Varicose veins in the testicles can also cause a low sperm quality.


Other reasons include hormonal disorders, stress, medication, environmental stress, diseases (such as diabetes), undescended testicles, operated tumors, infections, and congenital causes such as chromosomal abnormalities... >

DNA strand breaks

Genetic changes cannot be examined in a semen analysis. Changes in the hereditary information during the seed cell maturation may be caused by inflammation, medication (pain killer, cortisone etc.), environmental poisons (pesticides etc.), smoking, age, irradiation- or chemotherapy, thermal damage etc. 

Sperm transport problems

In 4 % of all cases, the seed production is sufficient, but they cannot enter the female body during ejaculation because the spermatic ducts are blocked. This situation is comparable with the occlusion of the tubes in the woman. It can be caused by a previous sterilization (vasectomy) or underdeveloped or closed duct of the epididymis. Closed epididymal ducts can may be caused by inflammations. 

Reasons for the reduced procreative ability of the man

In about 50 % off all couples who come to us, the man is also suffering from a reduced fertility. The reduction of procreative ability, however, is not connected to impotence in any way.

>Medical reasons for reduced procreative ability

  • Undescended testicles
  • Various veins in the testicular sack
  • Past testicle infections (e.g. mumps)
  • Testicle injuries
  • Hormonal disorders preventing sperm maturation
  • Genetic causes (e.g. Klinefelter syndrome)
  • Infections (fever)
  • Medication (e.g. cytostatics)
  • No generation of sperm cells in the testicles (Sertoli cell only syndrome)
  • Other diseases (e.g. ejaculation disorders after paraplegia)

General bad influence on sperm quality:

  • Stress, smoking, alcohol
  • Bad nutrition
  • Heat (prolonged sunbathing, sauna, solarium)

Ways to improve the sperm quality

  • Give up smoking
  • Reduce drinking
  • Change eating habits
  • Complementing therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy etc.
  • Food supplements

These measures might help. Regrettably, there is no reliable method to ensure improvement of sperm quality. This is also valid for different medications prescribed today.

If counts of fast moving morphologically unremarkable sperm cells are too low for a successful insemination, an alternative therapy through IVF or ICSI is available.

Examination by an urologist/andrologist

Clinical examination by a specialist is important, in order to identify or exclude organic causes.

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