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Male Infertility Fact vs. Fiction

By DuPage Medical Group Urology

Many couples experience difficulty becoming pregnant. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and its National Survey of Family Growth, 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining pregnancy. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine indicates that one-third of infertility is attributed to the female, one-third is attributed to the male and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or is unexplained. There are many myths surrounding male infertility. Can you tell fact from fiction? Take a look below to see the top male infertility myths debunked.

Myth: Age does not affect male fertility.

Fact: Age does play a part in fertility rates in men. The older a man is, the lower his sperm concentration tends to be. Additionally, his children are more likely to have certain medical conditions such as autism or schizophrenia. When trying to conceive, be aware of your age and fertility potential.

Myth: Smoking doesn’t affect male fertility.

Fact: Smoking increases the chances of male infertility by as much as 30%. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates that tobacco contributes to 13% of infertility cases. Quitting smoking is good for your overall health and can help you and your partner when trying to conceive a child.

Myth: Stress is a major cause of infertility.

Fact: Stress may affect one’s sex drive, but not the quality or quantity of semen. Stress doesn’t help you get pregnant, but it also does not make you infertile.

Myth: All male infertility is genetic.

Fact: While male infertility may have a genetic basis, there are many other reasons why it may occur; for example, some cancers or chemotherapy, injury, repeated infection, immunological problems, and drug or alcohol use.

Myth: Lifestyle choices do not affect male fertility.

Fact: False. What you eat, drink, and take into your body can affect your potential to conceive. Separate health issues, such as diabetes, being overweight, and a high-fat diet may lead to issues with conception. Maintain a healthy weight and a well-balanced diet to help maximize your chances of becoming pregnant.

Myth: Biking can impact male fertility.

Fact: Cycling can be related to erection problems, but not to fertility directly. Frequent biking will not hurt semen quality or quantity.


Tell your doctor when you and your partner start trying to conceive. If you've been unable to conceive after a year of trying, talk to your physician about your options.

Topics and Subtopics: Men's Health

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