Male fertility facts

6th July 2015 in Advice

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Male fertility, just like female fertility, declines with age – but should we be encouraging men to preserve their sperm, as one bioethicist suggested recently?

If you’re worried about being able to conceive, here’s some male fertility facts you should know:

1. Male infertility is common

Around a third of all infertility cases are caused by problems with male fertility. Common reasons include low sperm count, poor sperm motility and abnormal sperm shape. All of these can be overcome with the right fertility treatment, such as IVF or ICSI, where a single, healthy sperm is injected directly into the egg to fertilise it.

2. Sperm does decline as you age

Sperm does decline in quality as a man ages. It’s why sperm donors have to be aged below 41. But there’s no need to be worried if you want a baby and you’re an older man. Although sperm production does decline in your 40s, many men successfully conceive later in life.

3. Lifestyle does affect fertility

Many studies link lifestyle to sperm quality. Your diet, your weight and lifestyle choices – such as whether you smoke and how much alcohol you drink – affect sperm quality. Lifestyle is one of the easiest things to change however if you’re trying to conceive either through treatment such as IVF or naturally. We always advise patients to ensure they are as healthy as they can be before embarking on treatment.

No sperm? Treatment to help

Some men have fertility problems because they aren’t actually producing any sperm at all in their ejaculate. But there is hope through advanced, specialist treatments such as surgical sperm retrieval (SSR), where sperm can be extracted from testicular tissue and used to fertilise the egg. 

If you’re worried about getting pregnant and have been trying to conceive for some time without success, it’s worth visiting your GP to ask for fertility investigations.

You can also book in for a Fertility MOT privately with us at Manchester Fertility. You don’t need to be a patient and tests are performed quickly. Testing can be done for both you and your partner; they are simple and non-invasive and will give you an accurate indication of your fertility status. Your results will also identify if there’s a fertility problem, and if so we will be able to advise on the most appropriate treatments to help. 

If you have questions or concerns about your fertility, remember you can ask our consultants for advice via our free Ask the Expert feature. If you’ve been diagnosed with a male fertility problem, read our Guide for Men to find out how we can help you. You can also speak to our Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2737

Last updated: 8th November 2023