Male Infertility

Nursing Knowledge

Male Infertility

Male factor infertility involves issues that affect a man’s ability to conceive a child. Common causes include problems with sperm production, function, or delivery, as well as lifestyle and environmental factors. Nursing tasks include educating about potential causes, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and supporting clients emotionally while encouraging men to seek medical evaluation and treatment and in facilitating discussions about fertility options.
Last updated: January 16, 2024

Table of contents

Causes of male factor infertility

34% of cases of male infertility remain unexplained. 

  • Undescended testicles (8%)
  • Urogenital infection (9%)
  • Sexual factors (6%)
  • Systemic disease (3%)
  • Varicocele (17%)
  • Hypogonadism (10%)
  • Immune system factors (5%)
  • Other causes (8%):
    • Nutritional issues
    • Genetic disorders
    • Obesity
    • Endocrine disorders
    • Steroid use
    • Sperm quality
    • Medications, supplements, drug use
    • Structural issues 

How to assess male clients presenting with infertility

History and physical examination

  • Medical history: sexual development; severe systemic illness or trauma; infections; surgical procedures; drugs and environmental toxins; sexual history
  • Complete physical exam, assess for obesity, endocrine disorders, general health

Semen analysis

  • Collected after 2–4 days of ejaculatory abstinence
  • Evaluation of semen volume, pH, sperm count, concentration, motility, morphology, and leukocytes

Ultrasound of accessory glands and ducts

Structural issues should be ruled out. 

Genetic testing

Genetic tests can rule out genetic disorders, such as Klinefelter syndrome. 

Endocrine testing

Assess total testosterone, LH, FSH, and additional labs, as indicated.  

How common is male infertility?

Male infertility affects approximately 7% of men and is a contributing factor in around 50% of all infertility cases. 

Nursing tips to support clients experiencing infertility

  • Discuss lifestyle factors (diet, smoking, etc) 
  • Stress the importance of medical evaluation by a specialist
  • Recognize the emotional impact of infertility and offer support through empathetic listening and encouraging the discussion of feelings
  • Inform about fertility treatments and refer to support services
  • Encourage open communication with the partner 


Male Infertility

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Nursing Cheat Sheet

Overview of male causes of infertility and initial assessment.

Master the topic with a unique study combination of a concise summary paired with video lectures. 

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