Health Guide
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Male infertility

What is it?

Male infertility means that you have had regular sex for 1 year without birth control and your partner has not gotten pregnant. Birth control includes birth control pills, diaphragm, condoms, or rhythm. Infertility is not the same as being sterile. Being sterile is when you cannot get your partner pregnant and the cause cannot be fixed. Fifteen to 20% of healthy adults have fertility problems. With help, many fertility problems can be treated.

Following are some of the things that can interfere with a couple getting pregnant but are not causes of infertility.

Myths About Infertility: There are many myths or misinformation about the causes of infertility. Following are some of these myths and the real truth about infertility.

What is the male reproductive system and how does it work?


Male infertility results from an illness or injury that decreases the total number of sperm produced. Or, male infertility results from something that makes the sperm produced not normal, such as being unable to swim. Following are things that can cause impaired fertility in a man:

Medical Care:

Treatment Options: There are many ways to treat infertility. Caregivers will tell you the risks and benefits of each treatment. Talk to your partner openly and make treatment decisions together.

Sometimes no cause of infertility can be found. You and your partner may choose to stop fertility treatments. Following are other options for you and your partner to consider:

Dietary Measures:

Herbs and Supplements:

Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.



Complementary Therapies:

Care Agreement:

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


1. Dawson EB, Harris WA, Rankin WE et al: Effect of ascorbic acid on male infertility. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1987; 498:312-323.

2. Piesse J: Zinc and human male infertility (review). Int Clin Nutr Rev 1983; 3(2):4-6.

3. Sandler B & Faragher B: Treatment of oligospermia with vitamin B12. Infertility 1984; 7:133-138.

4. Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V et al. Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Arch Androl 1997; 39:155-161.

5. Suleiman SA, Ali ME, Zaki ZM et al: Lipid peroxidation and human sperm motility: protective role of vitamin E. J Androl 1996; 17(5):530-537.

6. Wooley RJ: Contraception-a look forward, part II: Mifepristone and gossypol. Contraception 1991; 4:103-113.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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