Women might suspect they have an infertility problem because they have symptoms such irregular or painful periods or a doctor previously diagnosed them with a gynecological condition impacting their fertility. In general, females tend to be more in tune with their bodies as well as visit a doctor more frequently than men do.

But perceptive men (and their partners) also can spot problems that may lead to infertility. Here are some of the telltale signs that a man may have trouble conceiving.

Libido changes

A change in sexual desire, which approximately 15% of men experience, could indicate low testosterone levels. Testosterone is needed for sperm production.

Some men might feel taking a testosterone replacement is the answer to this predicament. However, doing this will most likely make their problem worse. The body will be tricked into thinking it is making enough testosterone, but it won’t be producing sufficient sperm.

Male fertility specialists can prescribe gonadotropin injections as well as recommend adoption of a healthier lifestyle, including losing weight. Overweight and obese men tend to have lower testosterone levels because excess belly fat converts testosterone to estrogen.

Testicular changes

Men should see a physician if they notice pain, swelling or a lump in their testicles. These can be symptoms of a varicocele, which is a swelling of veins in the testicles. Varicoceles lower sperm counts, with enlarged veins being one of its most noticeable symptoms.

There can be other causes, including scarring from surgeries or the presence of sexually transmitted diseases as well as infections and cancer.

Ejaculation disorders

Men who produce smaller than usual ejaculates with an orgasm also are at risk for infertility problems. There are a variety of causes for ejaculation disorders, including retrograde ejaculation where semen travels back into the bladder. Certain medications can also be culprits.

Erectile dysfunction

If a man cannot maintain an erection, he will not be able to have frequent sexual intercourse, which will make it very different for him to impregnate his wife or partner.

Erectile dysfunction or E.D. can be caused by a variety of cardiovascular conditions such as high cholesterol and clogged blood vessels, diabetes, and obesity, to name a few.

Small testicles

Men born with Klinefelter’s syndrome, a rare genetic condition, will have an extra x chromosome and immature sex characteristics, including small testicles (hypogonadism). Doctors might be able to extract sperm from some of these men and then perform in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Interference with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland that interrupts the production of testosterone and sperm also can cause hypogonadism.

Though women seem to have a head start over men in knowing if they are experiencing infertility issues, men should seek professional advice if they recognize these symptoms.