Causes of Male Infertility

It often surprises couples to learn that 40% of infertility is caused by a variety of male factors. Sometimes it is the sole factor, but often both partners have issues that impair reproduction.

For conception to occur, men need to have enough healthy sperm to travel from their reproductive organs to their partner’s egg (oocyte). When sperm production or movement is hindered, male infertility becomes a factor.

Some of the more common causes for these problems are:

  • Variocele, an abnormal collection of bulging veins above the testicles
  • Undescended testicles
  • Absence of the vas deferens, the sperm transportation channel
  • Infections in the reproductive organs, cancer or other medical conditions
  • Anti-sperm antibodies, which stop sperm from getting to the egg

Semen analysis

A comprehensive semen analysis is an important test for determining whether the male partner will have a problem conceiving. Fortunately, at Westchester Fertility, our andrologist can perform a complete analysis on site. A semen analysis includes an evaluation for sperm count, motility, morphology (shape), volume, and total motile (moving sperm) count.

Treatment

There are many options to resolving male infertility from intrauterine insemination to in vitro fertilization with or without ICSI. Depending on the cause, we may refer patients to a urologist for surgery to correct specific anatomical problems or to reverse a vasectomy.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

During in vitro fertilization, it is sometimes necessary to select a normal appearing live sperm and inject it into the egg. This process is performed with special micro-pipettes under microscopic control. This enhances fertilization in cases of very low sperm count, poor motility or those cases with a high percentage of abnormal sperm.

Can a man enhance his fertility?

A man can maximize his fertility by stopping bad habits and/or moderating lifestyle choices, including illegal drug use, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and testosterone use. Optionally, they can curtail spending time in hot tubs or wear more loose fitting underwear.

 

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