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Male fertility problems

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.


On this page:


Causes and problems




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Sperm problems

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.




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Inherited or genetic factors

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.


Klinefelters syndrome­klinefelters-syndrome/

NHS information about Klinefelters syndrome, a genetic condition which can affect fertility.

NHS logo


Klinefelter’s Syndrome Association (KSA)

The Klinefelter's Syndrome Association (KSA) offers support and information to all affected by, or having an interest in, Klinefelter’s Syndrome.

Klinefelter’s Syndrome Association logo



Cystic Fibrosis Trust: Family planning and cystic fibrosis­life-with-cystic-fibrosis/family-planning

Cystic Fibrosis Trust logo


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Ejaculation problems

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.


NHS: Ejaculation problems and causes­ejaculation-problems/

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