Can Erectile Dysfunction Cause Infertility In Men?

Contact Us

Male fertility is described as the ability of a male to inseminate a female’s egg leading her to become pregnant and bare a child. Men usually experience a peak in their fertility between the ages of 22 years to 35 years. This is known as their fertile years. It has become more common in society to have children at a later stage in life and although men would be outside of their fertility window, the possibility to produce enough high-quality sperm for insemination can still happen.


Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the inability to achieve or sustain an erection necessary for sexual intercourse. This condition not only affects a man's sexual performance but also carries emotional implications for the couple's relationship. Several factors contribute to ED, including hormonal imbalances, vasoconstriction from smoking, nerve damage resulting from diabetes or trauma to the reproductive organs.


Medications and Erectile Dysfunction

Certain medications, notably selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine or citalopram, are known to cause ED. If these drugs impact an individual's sexual function, it's crucial to seek medical advice for potential medication adjustments rather than discontinuing them abruptly. Consulting a doctor can help explore alternative treatments or dosage modifications to alleviate the effects on sexual health.

Erectile Dysfunction and Age-related Fertility Decline

Research indicates that erectile dysfunction is commonly reported among men aged 40 to 70 years. As men age, their fertility naturally diminishes due to reduced production of sexual hormones, leading to decreased sperm production and lower fertility. This decline is a natural biological process experienced by all men.


Impact of Erectile Dysfunction on Fertility

While older men are increasingly becoming fathers, concerns about erectile dysfunction and its implications for fertility are growing. It's essential to understand that erectile dysfunction itself does not directly cause infertility. However, it can adversely affect couples' sexual lives, impeding sexual intercourse and potentially leading to fertility-related challenges and difficulty conceiving. Therefore, erectile dysfunction indirectly impacts fertility by affecting sexual activity.

Semen Analysis

Any male can undergo a semen analysis to assess fertility status. While self-testing kits are available, they may not provide a comprehensive evaluation. It's advisable to conduct a semen analysis through a doctor. The analysis assesses parameters such as semen volume, sperm concentration, motility, and structure, offering valuable insights into fertility.


Hormone Testing

Hormone tests, utilising a blood sample, can gauge levels of luteinising hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone. These hormones influence spermatogenesis and can signal fertility issues if imbalanced, highlighting the importance of hormonal assessment in fertility evaluation.


Imaging and Additional Tests

Further investigations may include scans or ultrasounds of the prostate, testicles, and rectum to detect obstructions, torsions, or tumours within the reproductive tract. Additionally, an antibody test might be conducted, particularly in cases of non-obstructive azoospermia and unexplained infertility.


Importance of Testing

Understanding male fertility involves a multifaceted approach. These tests are vital for diagnosing and addressing fertility concerns, particularly for individuals experiencing difficulties conceiving with their partners.


Seeking Treatment and Fertility Options

Men experiencing regular erectile dysfunction and wishing to conceive with their partners should seek medical advice. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to address erectile dysfunction and enhance sexual function. In cases where treatment is ineffective and couples still desire to conceive, alternative methods such as sperm extraction from the testicles and intrauterine insemination offer possibilities for achieving pregnancy, providing hope for couples facing fertility challenges.

Treatment and Management of Erectile Dysfunction

As an erection requires good blood flow and vasodilation, some studies have shown that doing cardiovascular exercises for 30-45 minutes at least 3 times a week can increase the blood flow to the genitals and can possibly improve the results of getting and maintaining an erection. Another non-pharmacological intervention is for men who are smokers, to abstain from smoking. Smoking causes vasoconstriction, hindering the penile blood flow and resulting in erectile dysfunction.


Some pharmacological interventions include oral medications such as sildenafil, medications that can be injected into the penile tissue to cause an erection and even in some cases testosterone replacement therapy. This therapy is usually only indicated in men who have a low level of testosterone.

Access medical solutions and achieve your health goals.

Simply contact us and our Health+ Consultant will be in touch within 24 hours.

Contact Us