Physical Symptoms of Male Infertility

For men, the most typical symptom of male infertility that may signal an underlying fertility problem is six months of unprotected intercourse without successful conception. Unlike many cases of female infertility, most men do not show any physical symptoms of infertility problems, but continue to have trouble getting pregnant with their partner. Nonetheless, there are some infertility symptoms that may be experienced along with difficulty getting pregnant as a result of a specific, underlying cause of infertility.


Male Causes of Infertility

The physical symptoms that may indicate a fertility problem in men may be a sign of one of the following causes of infertility:


  • testicular problems
  • sperm transport problems
  • hormonal problems
  • ejaculatory problems


Male Infertility Symptoms

The following are some infertility symptoms that could indicate an underlying fertility problem.

Testicular Problems
Signs and symptoms of testicular problems can include the following:


  • masses that are visible through the scrotum (requires physical exam)
  • one testicle that is smaller than the other
  • small testicles
  • high levels of FSH
  • low or no sperm production
  • abnormal sperm cells
  • pain and swelling of the testicles
  • difficulty urinating or ejaculating
  • slightly enlarged breast tissue
  • undescended testicles

Undescended testicles are usually surgically corrected at birth; however, if the condition was not corrected, a scrotal sac that feels empty will still be present. In addition, surgical correction could have caused a hernia, and the patient should inform the health care provider or fertility specialist if this operation was performed.

Sperm Transport Problem
Sperm transport problems that may lead to infertility - typically due to blocked ducts or as a result of a vasectomy - may include the following symptoms:


Semen analysis will have to be performed in order to determine the presence of these infertility symptoms.

Hormonal Problems
Male infertility may be caused by hormonal problems typically affecting FSH, LH, and testosterone hormone levels. The following are common physical symptoms that may indicate an underlying fertility problem:


  • soft, small testicles
  • no testosterone production
  • low FSH, LH or testosterone hormone levels
  • low or no sperm count
  • high levels of prolactin hormone
  • high levels of testosterone
  • blurred vision
  • large pituitary glands
  • enlarged breast tissue
  • difficulty with sexual function
  • impotence
  • changes in voice
  • changes in hair growth patterns
  • agitation, restlessness or irritability
  • insomnia
  • muscle weakness, shakiness or jumpy reflexes
  • accelerated sexual maturation in young boys

Ejaculatory Problems
Ejaculatory problems that are the cause of infertility may include the following physical symptoms:


  • difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
  • experiencing orgasms that do not produce semen
  • urine that is milky or white after orgasm

Since ejaculation propels sperm and makes it available for fertilisation, ejaculatory problems can significantly interfere with a couple's odds of getting pregnant.

Speak to a health care provider or a fertility specialist if you experience any of the above symptoms of male infertility.

Chat with other men on our forum about problems with male fertility.


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