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How men’s health, fertility are linked




Health conditions linked to infertility

Certain health conditions may affect the volume, concentration, motility (movement), and morphology (structure) of sperm.


According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), men who have the following conditions may experience fertility problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Varicocele
  • Genetic conditions like Klinefelter Syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea or chlamydia


Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications used to treat health conditions may also affect male fertility.

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can contribute to infertility.



Male Hormonal Health

Hormonal problems are not just a women’s health issue.

In fact, hormonal disorders can affect men’s health and fertility.

Men with conditions that affect the pituitary glands or hypothalamus may have low testosterone.

Hormonal imbalances like low testosterone do not directly cause male factor infertility.

However, low testosterone can contribute to fertility issues.

First, it can result in erectile dysfunction and low libido.

Secondly, testosterone treatments may cause infertility, though it may be reversible after treatment is stopped.


Sexual Dysfunction and Fertility

Men’s health and fertility may also be linked by sexual dysfunction.

Conditions that affect a man’s desire or ability to have sexual intercourse will, in turn, affect their chances of conceiving a child.

Sexual dysfunction may be linked to health conditions that can be treated or managed by a healthcare provider.

For instance, erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve or maintain an erection) makes conceiving through intercourse unlikely if not impossible.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), erectile dysfunction may be caused by conditions like:


  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Multiple sclerosis


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