A case-control study of risk factors for male infertility in Southern Nigeria

  • Friday Okonofua PO Box 10231 Ugbowo, Benin City, Nigeria
  • Lawrence O Omo-Aghoja
  • Uche Menakaya
  • Samson O Onemu
  • Staffan Bergstrom


Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between selected potential socio-demographic and behavioural risk factors and infertility in Nigeria males.

Methods: The study consisted of cases and controls. The cases were 150 males with proven male infertility, while the controls were 150 fertile males with normal semen parameters. Both cases and controls were matched for age places of residence, and were similar in key socio-demographic variables. They were compared for sexual history, past medical and surgical history, past exposures and treatment of symptoms of sexuality transmitted diseases, past and current use of drugs and history of smoking and alcohol intakes.

Results: The results showed infertile men to be significantly more likely than fertile men to report having experienced penile discharge, painful micturition and genital ulcers. Infertile men were less likely to seek treatment for these symptoms, and to seek treatment with informal sector providers rather than formal sector providers in private, district and referral hospitals. Multivariate analysis showed that male infertility was also significantly associated with bacteria in semen cultures, self-reporting of previous use of traditional medications and moderate to heavy alcohol intake. By contrast, infertility was not significantly associated with smoking and occupational types.

Conclusion: We conclude that infertility is associated with various proxies of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and poor healthcare-seeking behaviour concerning for STIs in Nigeria men. Efforts to address these problems will likely contribute to reducing the prevalence of male infertility in Nigeria.

Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol. 22(2) 2005: 136-143

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eISSN: 0189-5117