Men are just as likely to experience difficulty with their fertility as women.
The male partner needs to have sperm which is capable of fertilising an egg for conception to happen, and the sperm has to be able to reach the egg.
Problems with male fertility are related to sperm, sperm production and the reproductive tract. They may be hormonal, or they may be physical and can relate to sperm quality.
Sperm is produced and stored in the testicles, and if they have been damaged, for example by an infection, trauma or surgery, this can have an impact on the sperm.
- British Fertility Society quick guide to male fertility problems
- Information from Fertility Network UK on male fertility problems
Male sperm problems may be related to the number of sperm present in the semen (the sperm count), their shape (morphology) and the way they move (motility) as well as potential damage to the sperm.
- British Fertility Society quick guide to sperm quality and conception
- NHS information explaining low sperm count
Sometimes male fertility problems can be due to inherited or genetic factors. Men who have cystic fibrosis may be born without the tube which carries the sperm down the penis and this can cause fertility problems. There are other genetic conditions which can affect fertility.
- Information about Klinefelters syndrome, a genetic condition where males are born with an extra chromosome which can affect fertility
- The Klinefelter’s Syndrome Association (KSA) offers support and information to all affected by, or having an interest in, Klinefelter’s Syndrome.
- Information from Fertility Network UK for men with cystic fibrosis.
- The Cystic Fibrosis Trust leaflet for both men and women with CF who are planning a family.
Male fertility problems can also be caused by difficulties with ejaculation, which mean sperm may not be able to get into the vagina to travel to the egg.
Your lifestyle can make a difference to your fertility and this applies for both men and women.