Infections that cause male infertility

Any sickness that causes a prolonged high fever can temporarily reduce male fertility by damaging sperm production. For ordinary illnesses, sperm count typically rebounds to normal levels in a couple months. Certain infections can cause men to become temporarily or permanently infertile. The most dangerous infections for your fertility are specific sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs can directly attack your testicles and associated plumbing, and can cause lasting damage. If you have reason to believe you’ve had or are currently suffering from an STI or another risky infection it is best to contact a physician. Effective treatments are available.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common STI associated with male infertility, affecting millions of people every year. Symptoms of an active infection may include a burning sensation during urination, a light-colored discharge from the penis, and tender/swollen testicles. It is important to note that up to half of infections do not produce noticeable symptoms. An uncontrolled infection by Chlamydia can cause permanent scarring and blockages in the plumbing associated with sperm production. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and is treatable with antibiotics.

Gonorrhea

“The clap” or Gonorrhea is an STI commonly associated with male infertility. Symptoms of an active infection may include a burning sensation during urination and a darker-colored discharge from the penis. As with Chlamydia, it is possible to have a Gonorrhea infection without noticeable symptoms, and it may cause permanent scarring and blockages in the sperm production plumbing. Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection and is treatable with antibiotics.

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma are extremely tiny, sexually transmitted bacteria that can latch onto cells. When sperm cells are infected with Mycoplasma, their motility may be reduced. Infection with Mycoplasma typically does not produce noticeable outward symptoms, but may be diagnosed by culturing the semen. It can be treated with antibiotics.

Tuberculosis

Although best known as a devastating bacterial lung infection, Tuberculosis has also been known to attack the reproductive system and cause permanent tubal blockages in both men and women. Tuberculosis is very rare in developed countries, but is a significant cause of infertility in developing countries, such as India.

Mumps

Mumps is caused by an “airborne” virus, and is best known for causing enormously swollen lymph nodes, especially under the jawline. Men infected with mumps after puberty can suffer from painfully swollen testicles, and can have permanently impaired sperm production. Mumps is currently rare in developed countries, but a significant health threat in developing countries.

Urinary tract infections

Non-sexually transmitted urinary tract infections are relatively rare in men, but can occur. In these cases, most of the damage to fertility is caused by the entrance of white blood cells or “leukocytes” to fight the bacteria. The leukocytes release toxic substances to kill the bacteria that can cause collateral damage to sperm. These types of infections are often discovered by the presence of large numbers of leukocytes during a semen analysis. If the infection is treated with antibiotics, full fertility can typically be restored.

Treatments

A variety of treatments are available to men whose fertility has been adversely affected by infections. If an active infection is ongoing it should be diagnosed and treated with the help of a physician. After recovering from an active infection, most men will regain full fertility within a few months. If scarring of the plumbing that carries sperm cells from a past infection has occurred, a urologist can often surgically correct the blockages. In severe cases, sperm can be surgically extracted from the testicles and used for ICSI and IVF. For STIs, prevention is obviously the best, and lest expensive treatment. Be safe.

23 thoughts on “Infections that cause male infertility”

  1. Hello Madam….
    Seasonal greetings…

    Madam as I have disclosed my previous sperm analysis in earlier texts which was done three months back…

    As I told you..I started taking Ashwagandha powder daily night along with milk from three months…

    Today I went for seman analysis…

    Surprisingly the sperm count has been dropped from 28.6 millions to 14.6 millions…

    Feeling very much low with the results…in between i taken an antibiotic injection and t -bact ointment reatment for a small wound caused due to allergic infections….

    Please help me out with this matter…

    Seriously worried with the results..

  2. Comment…I’v Had An Infection For Over 4 Years Now, Thou I’ve Been To The Hospital For Tests Like Urin Swab, Urin MCS, Blood Test For Siphilies, But No Diagnosis Was Made So Far. Please What Can I Do?

  3. Hey, what could cause were big fluctuations in sperm count? In august 2017 I had 10million total sperm count. In september 2017 78 million total count. In december 2017 446million total count. Now in january 2018 sperm count 19 million. What is going on? We have been trying to concieve for 3 years with no luck. We have 2 children born 2004,2008.

    1. That’s really wild. Are you exposed to high heats by any chance? In studies I have seen the largest fluctuations (in a short time) as a reaction to heat…
      Maybe take this questionnaire and let me know what the results are and I can help you think through what could be contributing…

  4. I was diagnosed with azoospermia after series of tests. I suspect that it was caused by the mumps I had 10 yrs ago because of the deformation of my balls. It can be also because of the STD I have acquired before the mumps. Being in this situation is indeed frustrating, is there any development yet in those research aiming to find a remedy to this case?
    Thanks a lot…

    1. Those are two big risk factors that can cause azoospermia. There is some good news… many men with mumps and STDs still produce sperm but those sperm cannot get out of the testicle. You may want to visit a highly specialized urologist who may be able to do some more investigations to see if you have sperm inside the body. In that case there may be a surgery you can do to get sperm for use.

    1. It can. Or increase white cells our cause blockages in tubes that transport sperm out of testicle. Was it caused by infection?

      You can get a semen analysis or home sperm test to figure out how your sperm are doing

  5. Hi
    I have zero sperm count with normal lh,fsh hormone. Tesa is done which found few unmature sperm which injected ICSI in 4eggs but only 1 embryo from​ed which shown less growth. So how to increase sperm count and what could ne reason for nil count

    1. Did urologist run genetic tests?
      Nil count could be caused by lots of things. The urologist would be the best to figure out what is going on and recommend a course of action.

      1. Chetan-
        I did my genetic testing (chromosomal analysis) and its normal. All hormones like testosterone, prolactin, LH, FSH normal.
        The urologist also said they don’t know the reason. Please suggest how to increase sperm production

  6. Hi presently i m suffering from STI, i have few symptoms like
    1) light pain in testicle when touched
    2) testicles got bit harder then normal
    3) there is an irregular smell from testicles n sometime from urine

    In beginning i was having pain at lower back(kidney sides) aswell. Can you help me out for treatment plz.

  7. I used to masturbate at night and leave it like that without cleaning. It happened for a year . And after few months I realised that I found it difficult to empty my bladder. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to empty the bladder for the last few drops. I am afraid that there is a infection to my nerves of my urinary tract due to masturbation and not cleaning after that. Kindly help me with what drugs can help.

    1. You will need to discuss this with a doctor and get a test done to see if there is an infection and potentially what type to get the right medication.

  8. Hi my husband sa shows sperm count of 10 million but 0 rapid motility but morphology is 88%. His wbc count was showing 35 _ 40 . Semen cukture shows klebsiella bacteria growth and prescribed antibiotic. Is his count and motioity will improve after taking antibiotics ??

    1. There is a good chance. He should get re-tested a month or so after he finishes antibiotics to ensure that the infection is gone. The sperm count may take longer to increase. So I would recommend another test a month or two after that to see how his sperm count is doing. In the meantime, you might want to see if there are other issues that could be contributing to a reduced sperm count. Here’s a questionnaire that you can fill out or an app that you can download to learn more.

  9. 1. Can infertility caused by gonorhea be reversed in any way?
    2. Can sperm cell production systems function again after corrective measures?

    Please do let me know.

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