Causes of Male Infertility
Male infertility is any condition in which a man adversely affects the chances of initiating a pregnancy with his partner. Several factors can contribute to infertility, including structural and other defects in the reproductive system, hormonal deficiencies or illness. Some of the most common causes of male infertility include the following:
How is male infertility diagnosed?
In order to diagnose infertility, a complete history and physical exam are critical. Your urologist will probably also need blood work and a semen analysis. By analyzing your semen sample, your doctor will be able to evaluate various factors that may interfere with conception, including volume, count, concentration, movement and structure. A semen analysis with low levels, or even no sperm, does not necessarily mean absolute infertility. Low numbers may just indicate a problem with the development or delivery of sperm that requires further evaluation. Besides a semen analysis, your urologist may order a hormonal profile to determine the sperm-producing ability of your testes and to rule out serious conditions.
How is male infertility treated?
The treatment for male infertility depends on the specific problem. A variety of medications, surgical approaches and assisted reproductive techniques (ART) are available to overcome many underlying fertility problems. Some treatment options include the following: medication, surgery, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). By working with your urologist, you should be able to find the treatment that is best for you and your particular fertility issues.