Jan 21, 2020 9:00 AM


See an infertility specialist to start treatment for a variety of conditions that could be affecting you.

Fifteen percent of couples struggle with infertility, meaning they haven’t gotten pregnant after trying without protection for at least one year. This frustrating problem affects men and women equally. Fortunately, treatments are available to help combat infertility.

Male Infertility Causes

Male fertility is a complex relationship between:

  • hormones,
  • sperm production, and
  • the ability of sperm to get to the egg and fertilize it.

Men struggling with infertility commonly suffer from oligozoospermia, fewer sperm than normal in the ejaculate, and azoospermia, no sperm in the ejaculate. These conditions can be diagnosed via a semen analysis.

Oligozoospermia and azoospermia causes can vary. Varicocele, varicose veins in the scrotum, can cause reduced sperm count. Another cause can be undescended testes.  An undescended testicle stays up in the body and has a higher temperature, leading to lower sperm production, count, and quality.

Infertility is a very personal health issue. We encourage couples to come in and at least talk about the issues they're having. Our team is fellowship trained in men’s health issues, including infertility.

Dr. Jim Hotaling, MD

We also know that hypothyroidism can cause poor semen quality and count. Other possible causes include:

Genetic Disorders That Cause Male Infertility

Some genetic abnormalities can cause male infertility, as well, including:

Spinal cord injuries and pelvic trauma can also cause infertility issues, as they can affect the nerves that lead to erections and ejaculation.

Male Infertility Treatment

Oligozoospermia and azoospermia treatment options are available at University of Utah Health. Our team offers medications and surgical procedures to help you with these male infertility issues.

Lifestyle & Male Infertility

Lifestyle choices can also influence male fertility, including:

  • tobacco use,
  • long-term narcotic use/abuse,
  • drinking a moderate to excessive amount of alcohol,
  • overheating the testicles regularly (using a hot tub or sauna),
  • being overweight, and
  • poorly treated diabetes.

Clearly many factors attribute to the possibility of male infertility. Couples experiencing infertility issues have options to improve their fertility and chances of conception. Don’t wait too late to think about testing for infertility. Know your options now.

Find out more about our men’s health infertility services.

mens health infertility

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