Infection in Infertility

  • Ralf HenkelEmail author


Despite global overpopulation, human infertility is a growing concern since it is declining in both developed and developing countries. Reasons for this remarkable decline are manifold and include socio-economic changes, changes in lifestyle with higher prevalence of obesity or environmental pollution. In general, data on the prevalence of infertility, i.e. the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy within 1 year’s time, vary considerably between 3% and 25%, of which 15% seek for medical assistance. Infertility is a couple problem as both men and women contribute more or less equally, with prevalence reported for male infertility between 30 and 50%. Approximately 7% of all men are confronted with fertility problems during their reproductive lifetime, thus making male infertility a problem, which has an even higher prevalence than diabetes mellitus with an overall estimate of 2.8% in the year 2000 and 4.4% in 2030, and which is considered a common disease. Potentially correctable causes of male infertility are genital tract infections, which play a major role in male infertility. Infections and inflammations are not only seriously affecting spermatogenesis and sperm transit during ejaculation as can be seen in clinical findings in cases of oligozoospermia (decreased number of sperm), asthenozoospermia (decreased sperm motility) or azoospermia (absence of sperm in the ejaculate) but are also the cause of dysfunctional male accessory glands and significantly impaired sperm functions.


Male infertility Male urogenital tract infection Oligozoospermia Asthenozoospermia Azoospermia Chlamydia trachomatis Ureaplasma urealyticum Neisseria gonorrhoeae Mycoplasma hominis Mycoplasma genitalium Escherichia coli Orchitis Epididymitis Prostatitis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical BiosciencesUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

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