Male infertility: Some lesser known causes

An important observation is that in 20% of the cases male infertility factor are involved, while the other 30% is due to the combination of factors contributed by both partners.

Although the cause of male infertility cannot be determined in approximately 40% of the cases, it depends on the quality of the semen: number, mobility, morphology and vitality of the spermatozoa and PH of the semen.

Hence, when a couple goes to an infertility clinic in order to achieve a pregnancy, a semen test  is performed to determine all of these parameters.

Causes of Male Infertility

The possible causes of loss of semen quality and make infertility are as follows:

Premature ejaculation and retrograde ejaculation

Premature ejaculation may not have adequate number of sperms ultimately contributing to infertility. In the case of retrograde ejaculation, the semen goes to the bladder instead of coming out through the penis. It may be due to poor closure of the bladder neck, uncontrolled diabetes, surgery performed to treat hyperplasia benign prostate or cancer of the testicles.

Absence of ejaculation

Absence of ejaculation, which may originate from a spinal cord injury, long-term uncontrolled diabetes, surgery performed in the genital or retroperitoneal area, or prolonged use of certain drugs, including antipsychotics, antidepressants and antihypertensive or in the aforementioned causes for retrograde ejaculation.

It may also occur in patients with poorly controlled diabetes and years of evolution, may result from surgery of the genital and retroperitoneal region, or may be a consequence of the consumption of certain antidepressant, antipsychotic and antihypertensive drugs.

Medications and Toxic Substances

There are many drugs that affect the production of spermatozoa and, therefore, the quality of semen.

Especially noteworthy are the androgenic steroids (anabolic steroids), because they block the production of testosterone and therefore spermatozoa, which can lead to azoospermia (total absence of spermatozoa).

Drug and tobacco use can also affect sperm count and morphology. Finally, continued exposure to certain toxic substances (lead, manganese, cadmium, etc.) can lead to male infertility.

Hormonal disorders

Excess prolactin production (hyperprolactinemia), isolated testosterone deficiency, hypothyroidism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, etc. These are some of the hormonal alterations that can cause male infertility.

Chromosomal Abnormalities

They account for 21% of cases of poor sperm quality.

Urogenital infections

It is not very frequent, but this type of infections can cause seminal anomalies that can in turn infertility.


It is caused by the appearance of varicose veins in the testicle, causing an increase in the scrotal temperature that negatively affects the semen quality. It is treated surgically to as to repair male infertility.

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