Abstract Infertility represents a growing burden worldwide, with one in seven couples presenting difficulties conceiving. Amongst these, 10-15% of the men have idiopathic infertility that does not correlate with any defect in the classical sperm parameters measured. In the present study, we used a mouse model to investigate the effects of maternal undernutrition on fertility in male progeny. Our results indicate that mothers fed on a low protein diet during gestation and lactation produce male offspring with normal sperm morphology, concentration and motility but exhibiting an overall decrease of fertility when they reach adulthood. Particularly, sperm from these offspring show a remarkable lower capacity to fertilize oocytes when copulation occurs early in the estrus cycle relative to ovulation, due to an altered sperm capacitation. Our data demonstrate for the first time that maternal nutritional stress can have long-term consequences on the reproductive health of male progeny by affecting sperm physiology, especially capacitation, with no observable impact on spermatogenesis and classical quantitative and qualitative sperm parameters. Moreover, our experimental model could be of major interest to study, explain, and ultimately treat certain categories of infertilities.