Difficulty to conceive might be attributed to fertility problems in either or both the partners. Failure to conceive even after having regular unprotected sex for a year might indicate a fertility problem. Usually about 30 percent of conception difficulties occur due to male infertility and 30 percent develops from female infertility. Rest of the conception problems might be attributed to both the partners, or the cause of the problem might be unknown.
Causes of male infertility
Several factors might cause infertility in men. Some of these factors might be reversed, whereas other could not be treated.
Low sperm count
Most cases of male infertility develop from low or poor sperm count. Low sperm count or oligospermia is characterized by a sperm count lower than 20 million/mL. A low sperm count does not necessarily imply that you are infertile, but it reduces the possibility of a successful fertilization of the egg. A single sperm is needed to fertilize a single egg or ovum. However, most of the sperms die before they could even reach the egg. The larger is the sperm count greater is the chance of successful fertilization of the ovum. The sperm count might vary over time. Usually the sperm count tends to reach its peak in the early morning.
Absence of sperms
Low sperm count or temporary low sperm count could be easily treated. However, complete lack of sperms or azoospermia could not be treated.
Poor sperm motility
If the sperms are sluggish or they are unable to move in a straight line, the possibility of successful fertilization of the egg reduces. Sluggish sperms are usually the ones that have genetic defects or carry genetic diseases.
Abnormal sperm size
Sperms of abnormal shape or size reduce fertility in men. To improve the possibility of fertilization of the egg, at least 60 percent of the sperms should have the normal structure.
Blockage in the ejaculatory duct might prevent the sperm from entering the ejaculate fluid. Sperm production can fall if the temperature in the testes rises. Varicocele or inflammation of the veins in the scrotum can cause this condition. The temperature in the testes might rise if you wear tight underwear or work with laptops placed on your lap for a long period. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, prostate or bladder surgery and spinal cord injury could impair proper movement of the bladder muscles during orgasm, causing retrograde ejaculation and infertility.