Dear Men, Your Fertility Health Matters to Us

March 18, 2024

Infertility affects not just women but men too equally. Even in today's world, it is believed that becoming a father is easy, with more emphasis laid on the woman to prove her fertility. However, the incidence of infertility in men is on the rise as they are prone to stressful lives. Most of the time, male fertility issues are left untreated or undiagnosed as there is a misconception that only women's infertility affects conception. But a man's reproductive health decides whether a woman can conceive and also if the pregnancy is healthy or not. So, it is essential to be well-informed about men's fertility and everything related to it to enjoy successful parenthood. Read on to know more.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Seema Jain for all your Fertility concerns.

What is Male Infertility and Its Symptoms?

Fertility is the ability to reproduce without any medical help. Male infertility is the inability of a man to make his female partner conceive. Male fertility is not a simple process; the following things have to happen to get a woman pregnant.

  • wing things have to happen to get a woman pregnant.
  • Healthy sperm must be produced. For this to happen, there has to be a healthy growth and development of the reproductive organs. At least one of the two testicles has to function properly, and testosterone and other hormones have to be produced to raise sperm count.
  • Once the testicles produce sperm, it is carried through delicate tubes, where it is mixed with semen and is ejaculated by the penis.
  • The quantity of sperm in the semen should be optimal. If the sperm count is low, it reduces the chances of sperm fertilising with the egg.
  • The sperm must be mobile, and if the function or movement (motility) is not proper, the sperm cannot reach or fertilise with eggs.

Inability with any of the above processes affects male fertility.

Here are a few symptoms that are linked to it.

  • Issues related to reproductive functions like reduced libido or sex drive, a small quantity of fluid ejaculated or trouble with ejaculation.
  • Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to maintain or develop an erection.
  • Swelling, pain or lump in and around the testicles.
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Abnormal growth of breasts
  • Low sperm count
  • Reduced body or facial hair along with hormonal imbalances.
  • Low sperm motility

Causes of Male Infertility

  • Varicocele, which is swelling of the veins in the testicle due to abnormal blood flow, reduces sperm quality and quantity. It is a common cause of infertility and is reversible.
  • Infections can inhibit sperm health or sperm production. It can also block sperm passage and lead to inflammation of the testicles. Sexually transmitted infections like HIV or gonorrhoea are a few examples. Some infections can lead to permanent damage to the testicles.
  • Ejaculation issues because of bladder, urethra or prostate surgery, diabetes, spinal injuries, etc., can cause retrograde ejaculation. In this condition, the semen goes into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis.
  • Cancer and tumours can affect male reproductive organs. Chemotherapy, radiation or surgery can affect fertility.
  • In some males, one or both testicles do not descend into the sac from the abdomen during fetal development. These men are likely to have decreased fertility.
  • Hormone imbalances can lead to testicular issues or abnormal functions that affect other hormonal systems, causing infertility.
  • Blockage of Tubules due to injury from surgery, trauma, infections, etc.
  • Chromosome defects lead to abnormal development of reproductive organs.
  • Celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder, can contribute to infertility.
  • Certain medications can impair the production of sperm.
  • Overexposure to chemicals, heavy metal exposure, overheating of testicles, radiation, wearing tight clothes and sitting for long hours reduce sperm production.
  • Drug use, alcohol use and smoking are also contributors to reduced quality and quantity of sperm.
  • Obesity can also impair fertility by impacting sperm and also causes hormonal imbalances.

When to See a Doctor?

You should see a male fertility doctor if you are unable to conceive even after planning a family for a year. If you have any of the following issues, visit a doctor.

  • Low sex drive, ejaculation, erection problems or other sexual problems.
  • Swelling, pain or discomfort of swelling in the testicle.
  • A history of sexual problems
  • A partner over 35 years of age.

Male Fertility Diagnosis

During a male fertility test, the doctor must investigate both partners. An assessment starts with collecting medical history. A semen analysis is done, which will check the morphology, count and motility of the sperm in an IVF lab. If the results are abnormal, then it is repeated after a few weeks. Then, a scrotal scan, DNA fragmentation and hormone profile are conducted if abnormalities are found again. Semen analysis is done again after a few months if the patient is on treatment.

Men should consult with andrologists and get advice for the test reports. Many treatment choices are starting from tablets to IVF, depending on the severity and cause of the condition.

Treatment Options to Improve Male Fertility

  • Medications and Hormone Treatments: Depending on the cause of infertility, the doctor may ask you to go on medications. The other option is to go for hormone replacements if infertility is due to low or high levels of specific hormones that help in conception. In case of infections, antibiotic treatment is given to cure reproductive tract infections.
  • Treatment for specific problems: Medications are first prescribed for conditions like premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. Along with that, you may have to undergo counselling to improve fertility in these conditions.
  • Surgery: If the cause of infertility can be surgically corrected, then this option may be selected. It is typically done to correct a varicocele or to repair obstructed vas deferens. Sperm retrieval techniques may also be adopted in case there are no sperms in the fluid.
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): It involves retrieving sperms through ejaculation, extraction through surgery or from a donor depending on the specific issue and individual choice. The sperm so obtained is then injected into the female reproductive tract through intracytoplasmic sperm injection or in vitro fertilization.

Also Read : Treatments for Men With Low Sperm Count

Tips to Boost Male Fertility

  • Maintain proper body weight: Being overweight or underweight can have an impact on fertility. Ensure that you maintain an average BMI if you are trying to conceive.
  • Include folic acid, as it is seen that men with low folic acid levels have higher abnormal chromosomes in their sperm. This can result in miscarriage or congenital disabilities. They should consume folate-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, citrus fruits, etc.
  • Stress can have an impact on your physical and mental health and hampers fertility. Prolonged stress can reduce testosterone and make a man lethargic and tired. Beat stress with meditation, walking, etc., and also get good sleep.
  • Stop smoking, as it can cause low sperm count along with many health issues.
  • Cut caffeine as it can reduce sperm concentration.
  • Avoid heat, as it can inhibit sperm production. Limit the use of steam rooms, hot tubs and saunas.
  • Do not put the laptop on the lap and mobile in pockets as it can lower sperm count from heat produced by electronic devices.
  • Exercise daily to boost immunity, maintain a healthy weight and improve fertility.
  • Treat medical conditions as if left untreated, it can lead to infertility.
  • Get help if you are unable to conceive naturally.


1. How important is male fertility?

Male fertility is important as it can affect conception and also give birth to a healthy baby.

2. What does fertility mean for a man?

Male fertility means having a healthy reproductive organ and the ability to produce good-quality sperm and aid in successfully getting a partner pregnant.

3. Why does men's reproductive health matter?

It is essential for parenthood, physical health and overall well-being.

4. Why does sperm health matter?

Sperm health is critical for successful fertilisation and conception. It is an indicator of the overall reproductive health of a male and also influences the pregnancy outcome. A healthy sperm contributes to a successful pregnancy and reduces the risk of miscarriage.