Facts on lifestyle causes of male infertility
- Common lifestyle causes of male infertility, which affects 9% men, include psychological stress, an unhealthy weight, smoking, illicit drug use, alcohol intake, caffeine consumption, diet choices, excessive exercise and too much heat on the testicles.
- Altering these behaviors is the first-line solution to try to reverse infertility due to lifestyle changes, and our providers can offer men help in this regard.
- Should these changes fail, we offer several treatments for men with infertility.
Lifestyle causes of male infertility that are personal choices
A higher risk of male infertility is tied to unhealthy behaviors or lifestyle choices such as smoking, using alcohol or illicit drugs, and being overweight. Other behavioral factors are having certain past or present infections or taking medications for ulcers, psoriasis, depression or high blood pressure.
These behaviors contribute to lower sperm quality, the major cause of infertility in men.
We encourage men to take control over their fertility by making informed, healthy choices and cutting down on risk factors they can control. If these changes do not work, or if the infertile man does not pursue them, we provide treatments to work around his infertility.
These may include medical or surgical therapy, intrauterine insemination (IUI) using his sperm or a donor’s sperm, in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and other assisted reproduction treatments.
Male infertility lifestyle and behavioral factors
Male obesity or being overweight are associated with increased risk of male infertility due to decreased sperm quality. Obese men also have a higher rate of sperm with abnormal morphology (shape) and DNA fragmentation, both of which can result in infertility.
Obese men are more likely than normal weight men to be oligozoospermic (few sperm in semen) or azoospermic (no sperm in ejaculate). Male obesity affects hormonal imbalances that impair quality and movement of sperm.