Infertility affects one in six Australian couples. In more than a third of infertility cases, the problem lies with the male partner, another third is due to the female partner and a third is due to combined or unexplained causes.
In men, infertility is most often due to problems with sperm production or their delivery to the egg. About one in 20 men have low numbers of sperm, causing infertility and about one in 100 men has no sperm count at all.
Sperm count has halved in many developed countries since the 1970s, but the reasons for declining sperm production remain unclear. Potential causes include increased incidence of obesity, poor diet, and exposure to environmental toxins.
What is male infertility?
What are the causes of male infertility?
What are the risk factors for male infertility?
How can men improve fertility?
When should men seek help for infertility?
Our male infertility research
Hudson Institute scientists are advancing the understanding of male biology to increase the chances of conception. Ongoing research is aimed at identifying the mechanisms behind male fertility, as well as finding and testing solutions that resolve male infertility. Our current projects are
Understanding how disruptions during fetal development and infancy increase infertility in adulthood
Molecular studies This project investigates how disruptions to pregnancy and in early life impact on testis development and adult fertility. The team is testing the impact of exposures during fetal life to conditions such as pre-eclampsia, inflammation and ingestion of certain medications on the survival and multiplication of the germ cells that arise in fertile life and go on to form sperm in adulthood.
This research has identified key proteins that allow normal development by signalling between the sperm precursors and the support cells that form the testis in which they develop. Projects with national and international collaborators allow the team to learn how these signals work and fail in the human, with the potential outcomes of testicular germ cell tumours and infertility.
Analysing the formation of sperm
Immune cell contributions to testis pathologies
Investigating male infertility
Understanding the role of stem cells in male fertility
What regulates steroid production in the fetus?
Male infertility collaborators
- Monash University
- Justus-Liebig University, Germany
- Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
- University of Utah
- University of Copenhagen
- University of Western Sydney
- University of Newcastle
- Division of Genetics
- National Primate Research Center
- Division of Genetics, National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Beaverton
- Genetics of Male Infertility Initiative (GEMINI)
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
- Karolinska Institutet
- Melbourne University
- ANZAC Research Institute
- South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (AMHRI)
Support for people with male infertility
Hudson Institute scientists cannot provide medical advice.
Find out more about Female infertility.
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