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Potential Causes of Male Infertility

There aren’t many men who readily discuss their experience with male infertility. Even though nearly 1/3 of infertility cases are attributed solely to male factors (another 1/3 are due to factors affecting both partners), men are all too often left out of the fertility conversation.

Understanding the Causes of Male Infertility

Male infertility is most often the result of:

  • Unhealthy sperm: Misshapen sperm may be unable to survive in a woman’s womb, even if it was able to reach her egg.
  • Low sperm count: If a man doesn’t produce enough sperm, (15 million/mL or less is considered low), he may have trouble getting his partner pregnant.
  • Poor sperm mobility: For a woman to get pregnant, sperm needs to reach and penetrate her egg. If, for whatever reason, it can’t (for example, sometimes unhealthy sperm is unable to move quickly or at all), the egg cannot become fertilized.


The above-mentioned factors can be caused by several things, ranging from genetic abnormalities to lifestyle choices.


  • Infection: An infection can affect a man’s sperm production or block the passage that sperm passes through. Although some infections cause permanent damage, many only cause temporary side effects. Once the infection is cleared, normal sperm production and delivery usually resumes.
  • Tumors: Cancers or nonmalignant tumors can affect a man’s reproductive organs and/or his hormone production.
  • Celiac disease: Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by a sensitivity to gluten. Studies have shown that adopting a gluten-free diet can help some men improve their fertility.
  • Environmental
  • Heavy metal exposure: Long-term exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, can affect a man’s fertility.
  • Radiation exposure: Exposure to radiation can either temporarily or permanently (depending on how prolonged the exposure was) lower a man’s sperm count.


Unlike many of the medical or environmental factors, lifestyle factors are completely within your control.

  • Drug use. Steroids can have a serious effect on a man’s fertility by shrinking the testicles and decreasing sperm production.
  • Alcohol use. While short-term alcohol use can cause erectile dysfunction, long-term alcohol abuse can lower sperm production.
  • Smoking tobacco. Tobacco use affects nearly every organ in your body, not just your lungs. Studies show that men who smoke have a lower sperm count than men who don’t.
  • Emotional stress. Trouble conceiving doesn’t only stem from physical abnormalities — emotional stress, depression, and anxiety can also play a role.

Fortunately, men can take a few measures to increase sperm count. For example, by exercising regularly, increasing vitamin and mineral intake such as Vitamin C, D, and zinc and trying some relaxation techniques to reduce stressors may help increase sperm count, and overall health.

Asian Egg Bank was established to satisfy the ever-rising demand for Asian egg donors. Thanks to rigorous quality and screening standards, we are able to offer the highest quality eggs and surrogacy services to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.