Male Infertility

Definition

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 may be challenging but not impossible. So read below to learn more about the available treatment options so you are better prepared when talking with your urologist and/or fertility specialist.

Risk Factors

  • 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

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 have an effect on infertility.

Diagnosis

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

Treatment

Often times 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, and assisted reproductive technology.  Talk to your doctor to decide which treatment option is best for you.

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