The main sign of male infertility is the inability to conceive a child. There may be no other obvious signs or symptoms. In some cases, however, an underlying problem such as an inherited disorder, hormonal imbalance, dilated veins around the testicle, or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm causes signs and symptoms.

Although most men with male infertility do not notice symptoms other than inability to conceive a child, signs and symptoms associated with male infertility include:

  • Problems with sexual function — for example, difficulty with ejaculation or small volumes of fluid ejaculated, reduced sexual desire or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Inability to smell
  • Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia)
  • Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality
  • Having a lower than normal sperm count (fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or a total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculate)

When to see a doctor

See a doctor if you have been unable to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or sooner if you have any of the following:

  • Have erection or ejaculation problems, low sex drive, or other problems with sexual function
  • Have pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicle area
  • Have a history of testicle, prostate or sexual problems
  • Have had groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery
Aug. 11, 2015