The Most Common Causes of Male Infertility and What You Can Do About Them

Dec 15, 2023
Female infertility may be talked about more often, but fertility problems can be just as demoralizing and stressful for men. Learning the cause of male infertility is the first step toward finding a treatment that can help.

Whether you’re female or male, infertility can be a painful and frustrating problem to face. About two in five cases of infertility (40%) are fully caused by the male partner. So, if you’re facing infertility, you’re certainly not alone.

At his private practice in Central Midtown Manhattan, New York City, board-certified urologist Dr. David B. Samadi provides the highest level of urological and male reproductive health care. 

Dr. Samadi and our team are focused on helping you find the cause of your infertility and providing solutions that can help you achieve your family-building goals. Read on to explore the most common causes of male infertility, and find out what you can do about them. 

Most common causes of male infertility

Common causes of infertility in men include: 


About two in five men with infertility have varicoceles, or swollen veins inside the scrotum. Varicoceles develop when the valves inside the veins don’t work correctly, allowing blood to collect. These swollen veins can affect both sperm quality and quantity. 

Experts suspect that varicoceles inhibit sperm development by disrupting blood drainage in the scrotum. Varicocele may also diminish sperm production by causing blood to move backwards into the scrotum, where it raises testicle temperature to sperm-undermining levels. 


Sperm production and growth disorders 

Disruptions in sperm production or growth can cause infertility. One example is the absence of sperm production, which accounts for around 15% of male infertility cases. Abnormally low sperm production, immature sperm, and irregularly shaped sperm are other sperm disorders that can lead to infertility.

Some sperm production and growth disorders are present from birth. But other factors, including lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can also contribute to sperm disorders. Additionally, testosterone levels can affect sperm health and production.

Sperm movement disorders

Sperm has to reach the egg to cause pregnancy, but sperm movement disorders can prevent that. For example, with retrograde ejaculation, semen and the sperm within it move backward into the bladder. Sperm movement disorders have many possible causes, including medication, surgery, and nervous system disorders. 


Inflammation and infection can cause serious damage to the testicles as well as the epididymis, or the coiled duct-like tubes at the back of each testicle. Either problem can lead to scar tissue buildup that stops the normal flow of semen and sperm. Surgery can also cause scar tissue buildup that prevents sperm movement. 

Other possible causes

These are only some of the many possible reasons for infertility. Many other factors can affect your sperm. As urology experts who specialize in urinary tract and male reproductive health, we can do a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to pinpoint the underlying reasons for your infertility problem.

Male infertility treatments

Male infertility treatments are just as varied as its causes. We focus on treating your underlying problems using the most effective methods available. Your treatment may include:

  • Varicocele repair surgery (minor outpatient procedure)
  • Robotic surgery to repair or restore damaged areas of the reproductive system
  • Medication, such as antibiotics for infections
  • Hormone replacement therapy for low testosterone

In cases where treatment isn’t possible or is ineffective, you still have options. Dr. Samadi can explain assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) and help guide you forward. 

Dr. Samadi is a preeminent specialist in men’s urologic and reproductive health, and our team is ready to work side-by-side with you to find infertility causes and solutions. 

Call or click online to schedule a visit at David B. Samadi, MD, in Central Midtown Manhattan, New York, today. Dr. Samadi also practices out of St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center in East Hills, Long Island, New York, once a week.