Infertility (Male)

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Latest Edit: Hector 2013-12-05 (EDT)

Male infertility is defined as inability to conceive after 6 months of unprotected sex with a female without fertility issues. [1]Inability to conceive affects up to 18% of couples attempting to have children, and in up to 33% of cases it is the male who suffers infertility, and in another 33% both partners contribute to the fertility difficulties. Male infertility can be caused by a variety of factors including deficient sperm production, ejaculatory dysfunction, and sexual disorders.[2]

Infertility malel.jpg

Causes Environmental Toxins, Smoking, Infections
See Also Men's Health, Infertility (Female), Erectile Dysfunction, Hypothyroidism
Books Books on Men's Health
Articles Articles on Men's Health

Naturopathic Assessment

Article Male Fertility, Role of oxidant stress and antioxidant therapy , IHP ;Oct 2012
Article Antioxidancts for Improving Sperm Progressive Motility , February 2013 Natural Medicine [1]

Causal Factors

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With infertility, the causes are variable and include lifestyle and environmental factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing to infertility.


  • Lack of sleep can temporarily lower sperm count and lead to infertility.[2]


  • Increase in daily stress levels can temporarily lower sperm counts.[2]


  • Acute and log term exposure to radiation may decrease sperm count and lead to infertility.
  • Exposure to toxins including solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and lead may decrease sperm count and lead to infertility.
  • Exposure to estrogenic toxins including PCBs, dioxin, and DDT can adversely affect male fertility.
  • Infection
  • Various infections, including the common cold and the flu, may temporarily decrease sperm counts. One of the most serious infections causing infertility is Chlamydia trachomatis.[2]
  • Climate
  • High heat for prolonged periods of time is associated with decreased fertility in men.


  • Cigarette smoking is associated with lowered sperm count, quality, and motility.[3]
  • Marijuana, cocaine and other other recreational drugs are associated with lowered sperm counts.[1]
  • Tight fitting clothing and underwear can increase scrotal temperature and lead to male infertility.[1]

Medical Interventions

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Some pharmaceuticals may decrease sperm count and cause male infertility including cimetidine, spironolactone, nitrofurantoin.[1]
  • Medical Procedures
  • Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation can result in inferility.


  • Klinefelter Syndrome (47,XXY) involves an extra copy of the X chromosome and commonly causes infertility.
  • 46,XX Male Syndrome, also known as sex reversal, typically involves an absence of spermatogenesis.
  • Noonan Syndrome (45XO), also known as male Turner syndrome, involves cryptorchidism in 77% of cases.

Diagnostic Testing

  • Semen analysis is the standard test for evaluating male infertility, but may only predict fertility 30% of the time. Hamster egg penetration test can also be useful in predicting male fertility, and may be able to predict fertility 66% of the time.[2]
  • Imaging
  • Transrectal and scrotal ultrasonography may be indicated to identify the presence of varicoceles and to evaluate the prostate, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, and ejaculatory ducts.[4]

Related Symptoms and Conditions

Conditions related to male infertility include:[1][3]


Male infertility can be asymptomatic unless actively attempting to conceive. Some common signs and symptoms associated with infertility may include:[2]

  • Varicocele
  • Lowered sperm count
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • Poor sperm morphology
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Inability to ejaculate

Naturopathic Treatment

Article Treating Hypogonadism in Infertile Men, NDNR; 2012 August

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.

Home Care

Home Care strategies include:

  • Wearing only loose fitting undergarments and clothing to prevent increased scrotal temperature.[2]


Lifestyle recommendations include:

Article Ubiquinol for Idiopathic Male Factor Infertility, NMJ, [2], 2012 September
  • Although some studies suggests no overall association between regular physical activity and semen quality, bicycling ≥ 5 h/wk has been associated with lower sperm concentration and total motile sperm.[6]
  • Based on the influence of stress on male fertility, stress reduction techniques may be helpful in the treatment of infertility.[7]

Naturopathic Therapies

The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.

Naturopathic Therapies for male infertility include:

  • Acupuncture has been shown effective in the treatment of male infertility. Increases in total sperm fraction, viability, and motility have been noted following acupuncture treatment.[3]


Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND [3]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Prousky Jonathan (2008) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Clinical Nutrition CCNM Press.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Murray MT, Bongiorno PB. (2006) Pizzorno Textbook of Natural Medicine 3rd ed Chap 188 Male Infertility Elsevier
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sinclair S (2000) Male Infertility: Nutritional and Environmental Considerations Alt Med Rev 5(1):28-38
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sabanegh E, Agarwal A (2011) Wein: Campbell-Walsh Urology 10th ed Chap 21 Male Infertility Saunders
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Murray Michael 1996 Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally Prima Publishing
  6. Wise LA, Cramer DW, Hornstein MD, Ashby RK, Missmer SA (Mar 2011) Physical activity and semen quality among men attending an infertility clinic. Fertil Steril.;95(3):1025-30. PMID: 21122845.
  7. Rakel D (2007) Rakel: Integrative Medicine 2nd ed Chap 95 Prescribing Relaxation Techniques Saunders
  8. Hershoff Asa (2000) Homeopathic Remedies, A Quick and Easy Guide to Common Disorders and their Homeopathic Treatments, Avery Publishing Group, New York