Male infertility

What is male infertility?

Male infertility means not being able to father children. The word infertility is used when the female partner in a sexually active couple has not become pregnant after 1 year without the use of contraception. If the cause of the fertility problem is found in the man, this is male infertility. Male infertility is found in approximately half of all childless couples.

Male infertility has several causes:

  • Hormonal problems
  • Genetic disorder or chromosome defects
  • Problems with the testicles and sperm production
  • Difficulties with erection or ejaculation
  • Some medications
  • Trauma
  • Cancer

The tests and treatments vary depending on the cause of infertility.

In most cases of male infertility, either the semen is unable to reach the egg (obstructive) or the semen quality is poor (non-obstructive). The most common causes of male infertility and their treatments are discussed.

This information was produced by the European Association of Urology (EAU) Working Group, March 2018.

  • Dr. Maria F.B. Anderson, Roskilde (DK)
  • Dr. Juan Luis Vásquez, Roskilde (DK)
  • Dr. Francesco Esperto, Rome (IT)