What’s one fact you wish more men knew about fertility?

By Khaled Kteily, Founder of Legacy: 

The one fact that continues to astonish both men – and women for that matter – is that just as many fertility issues stem from men as they do women.

Of the 1 in 7 couples suffering from infertility, a third of those cases are due to women, a third are due to men, and a third result from a combination of both or inexplicable factors. While women have an internal “biological clock” that causes them to lose thousands of eggs each month, a man’s sperm health is also affected by external factors such as lifestyle habits and the environment. Below, I’ve listed some of the main causes and concerns for male fertility decline split into 3 buckets: age, lifestyle, and environmental factors.


  • Semen quality can diminish — sperm’s volume lessens with age and the motility and shape of sperm can decline, reducing the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
  • There is early evidence that women could face pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia if their partner is over 45.
  • Older fathers have riskier pregnancy outcomes; a recent study found that among fathers above 40 years of age, the risk of having a child with autism increased nearly six-fold. You can take a look at how age may play a part in your fertility and the health of your offspring here.


  • Although exercise is typically seen as a health benefit, the type of exercise you do might have an impact on your fertility. For example, cycling has been associated with abnormal sperm motility and morphology in some studies although the science is not conclusive here (learn more).
  • It’s been shown that chronic sleep deprivation (less than 6 hours per night) reduces testosterone levels and lowers sperm count.
  • Drinking, smoking, and recreational drugs could also negatively impact sperm quality. You can read more about how your lifestyle affects your fertility through our Improving Sperm Health educational guide.

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