Causes of male infertility

Generally speaking, infertility in men is related to issues with the following:

  • effective production of sperm
  • sperm count, or the number of sperm
  • shape of the sperm
  • movement of the sperm, which includes both the wiggling motion of the sperm themselves and the transport of the sperm through the tubes of the male reproductive system

There are a variety of risk factors, medical conditions, and medications that can also affect fertility.

Risk factors

Risk factors associated with infertility in men include, but aren’t limited to:

  • older age
  • smoking cigarettes
  • heavy use of alcohol
  • being overweight or obese
  • exposure to toxins, such as pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals

Medical conditions

Some examples of medical conditions that can cause male infertility include:

  • retrograde ejaculation
  • varicocele, or the swelling of the veins around the testicles
  • testicles that haven’t descended into the scrotum
  • having antibodies that attack your sperm and destroy them
  • a hormonal imbalance, such as low testosterone production

Medications and drugs

Various medications and drugs can also affect male fertility, such as:

  • chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which are used for cancer
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine, Azulfidine EN-Tabs), which is used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or ulcerative colitis (UC)
  • calcium channel blockers, which are used for high blood pressure
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • anabolic steroids, which are used for improved athletic performance or hormonal issues such as delayed puberty
  • recreational drugs such as marijuana and cocaine

The bottom line

Any of these things, or even a combination of them, could lead to infertility in men.

Source: Healthline