Infertility is a term doctors use if a man hasn't been able to get a woman pregnant after at least one year of trying. Causes of male infertility include:

  • Physical problems with the testicles
  • Blockages in the ducts that carry sperm
  • Hormone problems
  • A history of high fevers or mumps
  • Genetic disorders
  • Lifestyle or environmental factors

About one-third of the time, infertility relates to a condition with the man. One-third of the time, it’s related to a condition with the woman. Sometimes no cause can be determined.


Medical testing can determine the cause of some male infertility. Testing might include:

  • A physical evaluation looking for indications of hormone deficiency or another urologic condition
  • A medical history that might include childhood diseases, injury to the genitourinary area or recent high fever or infection
  • Genetic screening
  • A blood test to determine hormone levels
  • Semen analysis


When a cause is found, treatments may include medicines, surgery or assisted reproductive technologies.

  • Medication can help treat male fertility related to hormone imbalances and erectile dysfunction.
  • Surgery may help correct or repair anatomic abnormalities or damage to reproductive organs.
  • Medical procedures can be used to deliver sperm to the woman, fertilize the egg in a laboratory or enlist a third party for sperm donation.
  • Surgery can also repair a varicocele or blockages in the tubes that transport sperm.

Today, two-thirds of couples treated for infertility are able to conceive.

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