Male reproductive system

Male reproductive system The male urogenital system consists of both the urinary and reproductive systems. There are several parts, including the testes, epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, urethra, penis, prostate and accessory glands. Sperm is formed in the testes.

For more information, see Male Reproductive System.

Nutrition and sperm production

Nutrition and sperm production The types and quantity of food a man eats affects his sperm production. Unhealthy eating patterns, including excessive total calorie intake and excessive fat and sugar intake, are associated with sub-optimal sperm production and/or infertility in men.

For more information, see Nutrition and Sperm Production.

Keeping sperm healthy: Nutritional supplements

Sperm health and supplements Nutritional intake, including intake of particular vitamins and micronutrients, has been shown to affect the quality and quantity of the sperm a man produces. Scientists have devoted attention to studying whether or not taking nutritional supplements protects the health of sperm and if it could be an effective treatment for male factor infertility.

For more information, see Keeping Sperm Healthy: Nutritional Supplements.

The environment and sperm health

Environmental factors and sperm health Humans are constantly exposed to a range of chemicals and toxins in their environment which can affect their health, including their reproductive health. Heat, radiation, chemicals and trauma are all associated with male infertility.

For more information, see Environmental Factors and Sperm Health.

Effect of tobacco, alcohol and drugs on sperm production

Effect of tobacco, alcohol and drugs on sperm production Drugs, tobacco and alcohol have detrimental effects on sperm production. These effects include reduced concentrations of sperm in the semen, and reduced concentrations of sperm which have a normal shape and are able to move or swim.

For more information, see Effect of Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs on Sperm Production.

Sexually transmitted infections and sperm health

STIs and sperm health One effect of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in men is reduced fertility. STIs affect sperm transport rather than sperm production, though the latter may be affected by certain STIs that can be difficult to detect.

For more information, see Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sperm Health.

Semen analysis (sperm count testing)

Semen analysis Semen analysis testing, also known as a sperm count test, is the main test performed to assess a man’s fertility. It involves examining a sample of freshly retrieved semen under a microscope and conducting a range of tests.

For more information, see Semen Analysis.


Infertility Infertility is a condition in which a couple are unable to conceive, after frequent sexual intercourse, for 12 months or more. It can stem from factors related to the male partner, the female partner, or both.

For more information, see Infertility.

Infertility treatments/assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs)

Infertility treatments / ARTs As first line treatment for infertility, there are a range of lifestyle changes which couples should make to increase their chance of conception. Following this, other treatment options include surgical treatments, pharmacological treatments and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). The most suitable type of treatment will depend on the factors underlying the couple’s infertility.

For more information, see Infertility Treatments / Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs).

My experience: Brad warns blokes about neglecting your ‘mates’

My experience: Sperm count After contracting genital tuberculosis in 2005, a series of unfortunate ‘groin-related’ events left Brad with the confronting news he may no longer be able to produce viable sperm in order to father children. Brad says, as a young man, he never thought about having children until he realised it may be taken away.

To read Brad’s story, see Sperm count: Brad warns blokes about neglecting your ‘mates’.


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