Understanding male infertility is crucial for couples facing conception challenges. While it often lacks obvious symptoms, there are potential indicators to be aware of. In this article, we’ll explore the possible causes, signs, and solutions for addressing male infertility.

Key Takeaways

  • The primary sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse, though other symptoms may not be as apparent.
  • Ejaculatory issues, such as dry orgasms or low semen volume, and sexual function concerns like erection difficulties and pelvic pain, can indicate fertility problems.
  • Male infertility can stem from medical conditions, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices, with each potentially impacting sperm production and quality.
  • At-home sperm tests offer a private way to check sperm count, but interpreting results accurately and knowing when to seek medical advice is crucial.
  • The emotional impact of infertility on men is significant, necessitating open discussion, support, and coping strategies to manage infertility-related stress.

What are the Signs of Infertility in Males?

Struggling to Conceive: The Primary Indicator

Oh, the joys of trying for a little bundle of joy! It’s all fun and games until you realise the stork’s got a bit lost on the way to your house. If you’ve been giving it a good go for over a year and there’s still no baby on board, it might be time to have a conversation with the experts about fertility problems.

It’s not uncommon for couples to face hurdles on the road to parenthood. In fact, male factor infertility plays a role in this more often than you’d think. 

Here’s a list of signs that the chaps might be facing a bit of a wobble in the baby-making department:

  • Trouble at the inn? Difficulty in conceiving can be a nudge to check under the bonnet.
  • A bit of a dry spell? Ejaculatory issues, like low semen volume, can be a telltale sign.
  • Not feeling quite up to the task? Erection difficulties are worth a mention to your GP.

And let’s not forget, sometimes it’s all about the little swimmers. Issues with sperm, be it their shape, their get-up-and-go, or even their numbers, can throw a spanner in the works. Chromosomes and their potential reversals can also play a sneaky part in this fertility fandango.

If you’re thinking about more high-tech routes, like vitro fertilisation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, that’s a whole new kettle of fish. These are fancy ways of giving nature a bit of a nudge, and they’ve been the knight in shining armour for many a couple. But before you dive into the deep end, it’s worth having a good old natter with a fertility specialist to see what’s what.

Ejaculatory Issues: From Dry Orgasms to Low Semen Volume

Oh, the joys of trying to make a baby! It’s not all candlelight and romance, is it? Sometimes, the nitty-gritty of male fertility problems can be a bit, well, sticky. Take ejaculatory issues, for example. They can range from the puzzling ‘dry orgasm’—that’s when a chap reaches the fireworks but nothing comes out—to the concern of low semen volume. It’s enough to make you miss the days of worrying about the birds and the bees!

Dry orgasms can be quite the conundrum for men. It’s like the body forgot to put the kettle on for tea! And then there’s low semen volume, which can feel like you’re getting short-changed at the fertility fair. These issues aren’t just frustrating; they can be signs that the male reproductive system isn’t working as it should. The testicles, veins, vas deferens, and epididymis—all parts of the intricate machinery—might be having a bit of a tiff.

  • Premature ejaculation: It’s like running a race and finishing before the starting gun goes off. Not ideal if you’re trying to hit the baby-making jackpot.
  • Retrograde ejaculation: This is when the swimmers take a wrong turn and end up in the bladder. Talk about a detour!

It’s important to understand that these issues don’t just affect the chances of conceiving; they can also impact a chap’s confidence and emotional well-being.

If you’re facing these troubles, it’s not the end of the road. Many men with these symptoms have navigated the bumpy road to parenthood. So, keep your chin up, and don’t be shy to chat with a doctor if you’re concerned. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved, right?

Sexual Function Concerns: Erection Difficulties and Pelvic Pain

Oh, the bedroom blues! When the fireworks fizzle out before the grand finale, it might be more than just an off night. Erectile dysfunction can be a real party pooper, and it’s not just about the mood lighting or those new silk sheets. It’s a sign that something might be amiss, and it’s worth a natter with the doc.

Now, let’s not forget about the lads downstairs. If your partner’s experiencing a bit of a twinge or a full-on ‘ouch’ in the pelvic region, it’s not something to brush off. Pelvic or testicular pain can be a red flag for fertility issues, like a varicocele or blockages, and sometimes it’s a cue for a potential surgery to fix abnormalities.

It’s not just about getting the engines running; it’s about keeping them purring smoothly. If there’s trouble in paradise during sexual intercourse, it could be a sign of trouble on the road to parenthood.

And here’s a little list of things that might be causing a hitch in the giddy-up:

  • Varicocele, a bit like varicose veins but not where you want them
  • Blockages that are stopping the swimmers from reaching the uterus
  • Surgery history, like a vasectomy reversal, that might be playing spoilsport

If the swimmers aren’t doing the breaststroke with enough gusto (we’re talking motility here), it’s time to have a conversation with a specialist. Because at the end of the day, we all want a happy ending, don’t we?

What Causes a Man to be Infertile?

What are the Signs of Infertility in Men-Symptoms

Medical Causes of a Low Sperm Count

Alright, let’s have a chinwag about something that’s a bit of a sticky wicket for the lads: the medical causes of male infertility, particularly a low sperm count. Now, I know it’s not your usual cuppa, but stay with me, it’s important stuff!

First off, there are a few genetic conditions that can play a bit of a blinder in the fertility department. We’re talking about things like chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to a lower number of swimmers in the pool, if you catch my drift.

Then there’s the malarkey with infections. You’ve got your usual suspects like STIs, UTIs, and even the mumps. Yes, the mumps! Who knew that a childhood illness could come back to haunt the boys in such a peculiar way?

Hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone, can also throw a spanner in the works. It’s like trying to start a car without petrol, isn’t it? And let’s not forget about blockages. Sometimes the little guys just can’t find their way out, and who can blame them? It’s a maze down there!

Now, I’ve seen my fair share of health fads and miracle cures, but when it comes to something as complex as fertility, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. So, if you or your partner are facing these issues, it’s time to have a natter with the doc.

Remember, it’s not just about having a low sperm count; it’s about the whole shebang – morphology, motility, and function. And sometimes, the cause of these troubles is a bit of a mystery, which can be as frustrating as trying to fold a fitted sheet.

  • Genetic conditions
  • Infections (STIs, UTIs, mumps)
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Blockages

So, if you’re sitting there, scratching your head, wondering why the stork hasn’t visited yet, it might be worth having a gander at these medical causes. 

Environmental Causes of a Low Sperm Count

Picture this: a lovely picnic in the park, but little do we know, toxins are lurking around like uninvited guests at a birthday party. These pesky intruders come from all sorts of places, like industrial chemicals and even the air we breathe. And let’s not forget about pesticides. They might keep the bugs off our apples, but they’re not doing any favours for sperm counts!

Now, I’m no scientist, but I’ve read enough to know that these environmental nasties can really throw a spanner in the works. They can mess with hormone levels and, you guessed it, lead to a drop in the number of little swimmers. So, what can our chaps do about it? Well, for starters, they can try to reduce exposure to these environmental villains. Easier said than done, I know, but every little helps.

Here’s a cheeky list of common environmental culprits to keep an eye on:

  • Industrial chemicals (like those found in paints and plastics)
  • Heavy metals (like lead and mercury)
  • Radiation (from X-rays and other medical procedures)
  • Heat (think hot tubs and tighty-whities)

And remember, it’s not just about the quantity of the sperm, but the quality too. These environmental factors can affect both, so it’s a double whammy!

Let’s give those swimmers the best fighting chance, and who knows, with a bit of luck and cleaner living, we might just hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet before we know it!

Health, Lifestyle and Other Causes of a Low Sperm Count

Lifestyle choices can have a big impact on a chap’s swimmers. You know, those tiny little fellas that need to be in tip-top shape to make a baby happen.

Now, I’ve seen my fair share of dads-to-be swapping pints for smoothies and cigarettes for carrot sticks. It’s all in the name of boosting those sperm counts. And it’s not just hearsay; there’s proper science behind it. Obesity, for instance, can be a real party pooper for testosterone levels, leading to fewer sperm making the guest list. And let’s not forget the other usual suspects like smoking and boozing, which can leave sperm feeling a bit worse for wear.

Here’s a little list of lifestyle no-nos that might be keeping the sperm count low:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking tobacco or other substances
  • Recreational drug use
  • Obesity
  • Stress (yes, it’s not just us that get frazzled!)

Now, I’m no doctor, but I’ve heard a tale or two about how the pituitary gland and smoking can throw a spanner in the works. And let’s not forget about radiation from all our fancy gadgets. It’s enough to make your head spin! But the real kicker? Low testosterone levels. It’s like trying to start a car without petrol – not going to happen, love.

If you’re both scratching your heads wondering why the baby-making isn’t going to plan, it might be worth having a natter with the doc. They can check if these lifestyle factors are playing silly buggers with his sperm count. And who knows, with a few tweaks here and there, you might just hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet before you know it!

Can a Man Check His Sperm Count at Home?

DIY Sperm Analysis: Fact or Fiction?

Alright, let’s have a chinwag about something that might make the blokes squirm a bit – DIY sperm analysis. Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Can Dave really check his swimmers at home?’ Well, it’s not as daft as it sounds. With the wonders of modern science, men can indeed take a peek at their sperm production without stepping foot in a clinic. 

So, here’s the nitty-gritty on home semen analysis kits. They’re designed to give you a rough idea of what’s going on with your chap’s single sperm and his mates. But remember, it’s not all about quantity; we’re after quality too.

If the home kit says there’s a problem, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a sign to hop to the doctor and get a proper semen analysis done, where they can really get down to the nitty-gritty.

The Pros and Cons of At-Home Sperm Tests

Alright, let’s have a chat about these at-home sperm tests. They’re like the DIY of the fertility world, aren’t they? You get to play scientist in the comfort of your own home, which is a bit of a giggle. But, as with anything you do yourself, there are upsides and downsides.


  • Convenience: Pop the kettle on, love, because you can do these tests with your feet up at home. No need to traipse to the clinic.
  • Privacy: No awkward encounters in the waiting room or having to explain to your nosy neighbour why you’re visiting the clinic again.
  • Cost: Generally cheaper than a clinic visit, so you can save your pennies for more important things… like chocolate.


  • Accuracy: They’re not always spot on, so take the results with a pinch of salt.
  • Follow-up: If you get a dodgy result, you’ll still need to see a professional. It’s a bit like when you try to fix the sink and end up calling the plumber anyway.
  • Variability: Some tests give you instant results, others have you sending off your sample to a lab, which feels a bit like waiting for a reply after a first date.

Remember, chaps, these tests are a starting point, not the be-all and end-all. If you’re really worried, it’s best to have a natter with your GP. They’ve seen it all before, so no need to be embarrassed!

Interpreting Home Test Results: When to See a Doctor

So, you’ve done the deed – the home test, I mean – and you’re staring at the results wondering what on earth it all means. If the little swimmers aren’t doing the backstroke quite right, it might be time to pop over to the doc’s office for a chinwag.

Here’s the skinny: if you’ve been trying to put a bun in the oven for a year or more without any luck, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional. Especially if you’ve noticed any niggling issues like a bit of pain during your private time or if your soldiers are marching in low numbers.

  • Persistent symptoms? Don’t dilly-dally, see a healthcare provider pronto.
  • Dry on the output? Low semen volume can be a sign to get checked out.
  • Pain or blood when you’re at the peak of pleasure? That’s your cue to get professional advice.

Your healthcare professional will have a natter with you, take your medical history, and do a little a physical examination. They might even ask for a few tests to get to the bottom of things. And remember, it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about the whole you.

It’s not just a numbers game; your overall health plays a big part in fertility too.

If you’re feeling a bit out of sorts or just want to make sure everything’s tickety-boo, don’t hesitate to book an appointment. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and who knows, you might just get the green light to keep trying with a bit more pep in your step!

Male Infertility and Mental Health

What are the Signs of Infertility in Men-Symptoms (1)

The Emotional Toll of Infertility on Men

Oh, bless! When the chaps are having a bit of a struggle in the baby-making department, it’s not just a physical kerfuffle they’re dealing with. It’s a right emotional rollercoaster, too. Imagine, the hypothalamus and all its hormonal chums are doing their best, but sometimes things just don’t click into place. It’s like trying to start a car with a flat battery; you can turn the key all you want, but it might need a jump start to get going.

So, while the lads might not be shouting from the rooftops about their fertility hiccups, it’s important to nudge them gently towards a bit of support. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. And with a bit of help, who knows? That flat battery might just get the jump start it needs.

Breaking the Silence: Discussing Male Infertility

Oh, the hush-hush around male infertility, it’s like trying to keep a lid on a pot of over-boiling pasta – it’s bound to spill over! Males often find themselves in a bit of a pickle when it comes to opening up about fertility issues. But let me tell you, it’s as common as finding a lost sock in the washing machine. It’s not just about the birds and the bees; it’s about hormones, disorders, and even that cheeky pint of alcohol you fancy on a Friday night.

So, what’s a chap to do? Well, it’s time to chin up and chat up. Here’s a little list to get the ball rolling:

  • Have a natter with your partner – it’s a team effort, after all.
  • Pop over to the doc for a chinwag – they’ve seen it all before, trust me.
  • Cut down on the ciggies and the booze – your swimmers will thank you.
  • Keep the family jewels away from the laptop – no need to cook ’em!

Remember, it’s not about pointing fingers or feeling blue. It’s about getting to the root of the problem and finding a solution together. So, let’s break the silence and turn the tide on male infertility, one chat at a time.

Support and Coping Strategies for Infertility-Related Stress

Now, we all know that when the cricket match is rained out, it’s no good moping about. You’ve got to get the kettle on, have a natter, and figure out your next move. Same goes for when you’re dealing with the emotional googlies of infertility.

First things first, communication is key. Having a heart-to-heart with your partner can make a world of difference. It’s about being each other’s cheerleader, even when the match isn’t going your way.

Now, here’s a nifty list of things that can help take the edge off:

  • Counselling: Sometimes, you need a bit of an umpire to help sort things out. A counsellor can be just that, helping you and your partner navigate through this sticky patch.
  • Support Groups: It’s like joining a book club, but instead of discussing the latest whodunit, you’re sharing your fertility journey with folks who get it.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Keep away from the naughty stuff like smoking and heavy drinking. It’s a bit like swapping out the chips for carrots at snack time – better for you in the long run!

Embracing the journey with a dollop of hope and a sprinkle of resilience can make all the difference. Stay informed about the latest in assisted reproductive technology and success stories. It’s like keeping an eye on the scoreboard, knowing that sometimes the game can turn around.

And let’s not forget, there’s a whole world of reproductive technologies out there. From IVF to ICSI, and even when things get really tough, like after chemotherapy, there’s often a way forward. It’s a bit like finding that secret shortcut on the school run that avoids all the traffic.

So, keep your chin up, brew a strong cuppa, and remember, every cloud has a silver lining. Even if that cloud is a bit more stubborn than most, with the right medication, support, and a bit of that famous British humour, you’ll get through this together. And who knows? With a bit of luck and science, you might just be on the road to pregnancy before you can say ‘Bob’s your uncle!’

Wrapping It Up: Understanding Male Infertility

In conclusion, male infertility is a nuanced issue that can manifest in various ways, often without clear symptoms. From changes in sexual desire to difficulties with ejaculation, the signs can be subtle and easily overlooked. It’s important to remember that infertility is not synonymous with impotence and can exist even in the absence of sexual performance issues. If you’re facing challenges in conceiving, it’s worth having a candid conversation with a healthcare professional. Early detection and intervention can make a significant difference, and with the right support, many couples can navigate this journey successfully. Remember, you’re not alone, and help is available to guide you through the complexities of male fertility.

For more expert advice on infertility, check out our Pregnancy: Infertility section.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the primary signs of infertility in men?

Male infertility is typically defined as the inability to conceive after a year or more of frequent, unprotected sex. Other signs can include changes in sexual desire, issues with ejaculation, and symptoms such as pelvic pain or difficulties in achieving or maintaining an erection.

Can a man be sexually active and still be infertile?

Yes, a man can be sexually active and still be infertile. Infertility refers to the inability to conceive a child and can be caused by problems with sperm production, among other factors. It is different from impotence, which is the inability to attain or sustain an erection during sexual activity.

Are there any symptoms of male infertility besides an inability to conceive?

Yes, besides the inability to conceive, symptoms of male infertility can include ejaculatory issues such as dry orgasms or low semen volume, erection difficulties, and pelvic pain. However, many men may not experience any noticeable signs.

What should I do if I suspect I have a fertility issue?

If you suspect you have a fertility issue, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider or a fertility specialist. They can conduct a medical evaluation to diagnose any underlying issues and discuss potential treatment options.

How can lifestyle changes impact male fertility?

Lifestyle changes can significantly impact male fertility. Factors such as stress, diet, exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins can affect sperm production and overall reproductive health. Embracing a proactive approach to lifestyle adjustments can enhance fertility outcomes.

Is it possible to have no physical symptoms of male infertility?

Yes, it is possible to have no physical symptoms of male infertility. Many men with fertility issues may not realise they have a problem until they try to conceive. Regular health check-ups and discussions with healthcare providers can help in early detection and treatment.

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Might be Vitamenz too. They are a kiwi created supplement, cheaper than menevit.


While listening to the radio a few weeks ago a gentleman was talking
about fertility pills for men. He said he was taking them to improve
motility and that he had purchased them from a fertility clinic in
Auckland. I have been hunting around to find out more but with no
success. Are you able to assist or advise where I may be able to find
out about these pills?


Hi and thank you for your query, but I’m sorry I don’t know about these.

Another visitor to Kiwi families may be able to shed light on this, so keep an eye on this column.

contacting the fertility clinics of Auckland, but be sure to seek
specialist advice before taking pills – everything has potential side
effects and you need to be sure you are taking the right treatment.

All the best
Paula, nurse at Kiwi Families


In response to this question, we have been given so called pill to help
with male fertility through Fertility Associates in Wellington.
Apparently, they are only available through the clinic, and are similar
to Elevit.
Give them a ring and ask to speak with a nurse,

Good luck!

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