Causes of male infertility

The most common male fertility disorder is defective production of normally shaped (morphology) and mobile sperm (motility).

Greatly reduced semen quality

Male subfertility is one of the most common causes of infertility. Therefore, fulfillment of the wish for children in male fertility problems is at the center of our attention and constitutes one of our priorities.

Greatly reduced semen quality (based on the number, motility and shape of the sperm) considerably lowers the probability to fertilize oocytes in a natural way. With the introduction of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection = injection of a sperm cell into a mature egg using a glass capillary) in 1992, a major advance in the treatment of male fertility problems could be achieved. Since then it has been possible for us to successfully fertilize oocytes in high numbers even in the case of severely impaired semen quality.

Further progress provides the method of IMSI (intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection). These morphological abnormalities can be better assessed through highly enlarged, digitally processed microscopic images of the sperm. The accordingly selected sperm are subsequently used for the injection of the oocytes. We recommend the method of IMSI in the case of infertile couples who have a high number of morphologically abnormal sperm.

There can be a number of reasons for this:


A childhood mumps infection can irrevocably destroy the sperm -producing cells in the testes, for example.

Varicose veins in the scrotum

The heat of the varicose veins disrupts the process of spermatogenesis (sperm development) . A temperature difference of only 0.7°C can be crucial here.

Undescended testicles

Here it is the bodily warmth itself that disrupts spermatogenesis – it can even cause irreversible infertility.

Hormonal disorders

In men and women alike, hormonal imbalance can be the cause of a failure of seed production. Testosterone deficiency can result in reduced sperm counts or failure to produce sperm.

Other causes

Testicular trauma (e.g. bicycle crash) during childhood, blocked vasa deferentia, surgically removed tumors, diabetes mellitus, stress.

Lifestyle and environmental impacts

It is known that heavy nicotine and/or alcohol consumption can affect semen quality greatly. What is more, anabolic steroids, excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages or regular contact with certain chemicals or sprays may reduce the fertilizing capacity of semen.