Infertility is the inability to achieve a normal pregnancy. About
one in seven couples in the United States is unable to conceive a
child after trying regularly for one year. Some couples will have
success in the second or third year of trying, but couples that
cannot conceive after three years are very unlikely to ever
succeed unless they seek medical assistance.
Infertility in a couple may be caused by the male partner, the
female partner or both. Studies suggest the male partner alone is
infertile in about 20% of cases and that both partners have
fertility problems about 30% of the time. Therefore, the male
partner plays a role in about half of all couples that have
difficulty conceiving a child. In about 15% of cases, infertility
tests are completely normal in both partners, despite the fact
that the couple cannot conceive a child.
Male infertility has a wide variety of causes, which can be
broken down into several major groups:
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