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Male Infertility

Infertility is a common yet complex problem affecting approximately 10–15% of couples attempting to conceive a baby. In up to one-third of couples having difficulty getting pregnant, the problem is at least in part related to male reproductive issues. It is essential that men be assessed to pinpoint the treatable or untreatable causes of this heartbreaking health issue.

Fortunately, with today’s high-tech procedures and powerful drugs, a diagnosis of infertility may simply mean the road to parenthood is challenging but not impossible. Learn more about the available treatment options so you are better prepared when talking with your urologist and/or fertility specialist.

Male infertility risk factors include:

  • Tobacco use.
  • Alcohol use.
  • Certain drug use.
  • Obesity.
  • Having certain past or present infections.
  • Exposure to toxins.
  • Overheating of the testicles.
  • Experiencing trauma to the testicles.
  • Having a prior vasectomy or major abdominal or pelvic surgery.
  • Being born with a fertility disorder.
  • Having certain medical conditions.

Symptoms of male infertility

The main symptom of infertility is difficulty in conceiving a child. Most men will not experience symptoms related to infertility, but they may have other symptoms associated with other issues that could affect infertility.

How is male infertility diagnosed?

Most people who experience infertility will have to see a doctor to address the cause of the problem. Some ways to help diagnose why a man might be infertile could include:

  • General exam and medical history.
  • Semen analysis.
  • Scrotal ultrasound.
  • Hormone testing.
  • Post-ejaculation urinalysis.
  • Genetic tests.
  • Testicular biopsy.
  • Specialized sperm function tests.
  • Transrectal ultrasounds.

How is male infertility treated?

Often, the exact cause of infertility cannot be confirmed. There are multiple options, however, that can help to treat male infertility including:

  • Surgery.
  • Treatment of infections.
  • Treatment for sexual intercourse problems.
  • Hormone treatments.
  • Assisted reproductive technology.

Talk to your doctor to decide which treatment option is best for you.