Spermatozoa acquire forward motility and fertilizing capacity during their transit through the epididymis. The maturation process involves modifications of the sperm surface by different proteins that are secreted by a series of specialized regions in the epididymal epithelium. Here we show that the rat epididymis-specific β-defensin 15 (Defb15) exhibits an androgen-dependent expression pattern, and it can bind to the acrosomal region of caput sperm. Coculture of caput spermatozoa with Defb15 antibody in vitro resulted in a significant decline in sperm motility. Moreover, the total and progressive motility of the spermatozoa dramatically decreased in rats when Defb15 was downregulated by lentivirus-mediated RNAi in vivo. Remarkably, knock down of Defb15 led to a reduction in fertility and embryonic development failure. In addition, the recombinant Defb15 showed antimicrobial activity in a dose-dependent fashion. These results suggest that Defb15 plays a dual role in both sperm maturation and pathogen defense in rat epididymis.