- Produce too few sperm cells
- Produce sperm cells of poor quality
- Have chronic problems with ejaculation
|The Male Reproductive System|
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- Genetics diseases (such as, Klinefelter syndrome , Sertoli-Leydig cell syndrome)
- Exposure to some workplace chemicals or heavy metals (primarily lead and cadmium)
- Tobacco use , marijuana use
- Varicose veins of the testes ( varicocele )
- Abnormal hormone levels
- Physical abnormalities
- Chronic diseases (such as, sickle cell anemia )
- Excessive physical activity
- Anti-sperm antibodies
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or heavy metals, such as lead
- Liver disease
- Nicotine use, long-term marijuana or cocaine use , steroid use, opiate use , and certain prescription drug use
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the womb
- Overheating of the testicles
- Cystic fibrosis
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Kartagener syndrome
- Spinal cord injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain tumors , pituitary tumors
- Radiation treatment
- Past infections, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), mumps , prostatitis
- Birth defects of the male reproductive system, including history of undescended testicles
- Obesity , high body mass index
Blood tests—to find out the levels of different hormones that play a role in sperm development, including:
- Luteinizing hormone
- Follicle stimulating hormone
- Prolactin levels
- Semen analysis
- Amount of semen
- Consistency of semen
- Number of sperm
- Movement of sperm
- Shape of sperm
- "Clumping" of sperm
- Presence of substances other than sperm in the semen
- Ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to examine structures inside the body; transrectal ultrasound may be done to look for any enlarged vein around the testicles
- X-rays —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
- Fertilization tests—to determine how well the sperm can penetrate an egg
- Biopsy —removal of a sample of testicular tissue for testing
- Post-coital test—to check if your sperm is compatible with the mucus in your partner's cervix
- Changing the timing of sexual activity
- Avoiding excessive heat (steam rooms, saunas)
- Avoiding tobacco , marijuana, and excessive alcohol use
- Wearing looser fitting shorts and pants
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Decreasing stress
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
- Artificial insemination—semen is collected and processed in a lab. It is then inserted directly into the woman's cervix or uterus.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) —an egg is removed from the woman's body and mixed with sperm in a lab. The egg and sperm mixture or a 2-3 day old embryo is then placed in the uterus.
- Gamete or zygote intrafallopian transfer (GIFT or ZIFT)—an egg is removed from the woman's body and mixed with sperm in a lab. The egg and sperm mixture or a 2-3 day old embryo is then placed in the fallopian tube.
- Blastocyst intrafallopian transfer—an egg is removed from the woman's body. Egg is injected with sperm and allowed to develop. It is later implanted into the uterus.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection—a single sperm is injected into the egg. The resulting embryo can be implanted into the uterus or frozen for later use.
- Use of tobacco, marijuana, opiates, and anabolic steroids
- Exposure to harmful chemicals and heavy metals
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Protect yourself from STDs by using condoms . Minimize the number of sexual partners you have.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine http://www.asrm.org
The Hormone Foundation http://www.hormone.org
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association http://www.resolve.org
Men's Health Centre http://www.menshealthcentre.net
Infertility. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 23, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Jorgensen N, Carlsen E, Nermoen I, et al. East-West gradient in semen quality in the Nordic-Baltic area: a study of men from the general population in Denmark, Norway, Estonia and Finland. Hum Reprod. 2002;17:2199.
Male risks. Protect your fertility website. Available at: http://www.protectyourfertility.org/malerisks.html. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Reproductive health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Swan SH, Brazil C, Drobnis EZ, et al. Geographic differences in semen quality of fertile US males. Environ Health Perspect . 2003;111:414.
Vasectomy. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated May 2011. Accessed September 14, 2012.
9/2/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Ghanem H, Shaeer O, El-Segini A. Combination clomiphene citrate and antioxidant therapy for idiopathic male infertility: a randomized controlled trial. Fertil Steril. 2009 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]
2/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Showell M, Brown J, Yazdani A, Stankiewicz M, Hart R. Antioxidants for male subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(1):CD007411.
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/13/2014 -