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Male Infertility

Lifestyle
Behaviors such as smoking cigarettes or marijuana, heavy alcohol use, and taking illegal drugs can temporarily reduce sperm quality.
Environmental Exposures
Researchers are looking at whether exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides and lead, also may be to blame for some cases of infertility.
Health Problems
Male infertility causes related to medical conditions can include:
  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD).
  • Diabetes.
  • Genetic disease (such as cystic fibrosis).
  • Mumps virus after puberty.
  • Surgery on or infection in the prostate gland.
  • Severe testicle injury or problem.
  • Varicocele, which is a network of veins in the scrotum that are bluish, long, "worm-like," and enlarged. They can cause pain and discomfort, but seem to become smaller or disappear when the man lies down. Although these can be treated, they might damage the testes.
Medications
Some medicines that men take for ulcers or psoriasis can cause infertility. Some blood pressure-lowering drugs (such as diuretics, beta blockers, and central agonists) also can cause impotence.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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