MALE FACTOR INFERTILITY
While it may be surprising to some, we know that 40 to 50 percent of all infertility cases are due—in part or in whole—to male factor infertility. However, when presented with an infertility issue such as a low sperm count (oligospermia), no sperm count (azoospermia), or decreased sperm motility (asthenospermia), reproductive endocrinologist and reproductive urologists are often able to define several potential points of intervention.
Male factor problems essentially fall into one of two categories: productive or obstructive. Problems with sperm production can stem from congenital (present at birth)problems with the testicle, hormone-related issues, varicose veins, environmental exposures, or cancer. In these cases, a detailed consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist or reproductive urologist can help pinpoint potential causes as well as facilitate treatment with the intent of improving a patient’s numbers.
Obstructive issues impair the transport of sperm to the semen. Production within the testicle is usually at a normal level but a problem can occur with the outflow tract. Causes can include:
- Prior surgery
- Congenital abnormalities (problems that are present at birth)
We often focus treatment on either reconstruction of the transport system or retrieval of sperm for use in assisted reproduction. Again, a detailed consultation with specialist will help patients make these decisions.
WATCH NOW: MALE FACTOR INFERTILITY Q&A WITH
DR. PAUL SHIN
MORE INFORMATION ON CAUSES OF MALE INFERTILITY
The function and quantity of sperm greatly impacts male fertility. Learn about the causes of sperm disorders, testing and treatment.
Sometimes, sperm is not able to travel which can make it difficult to conceive. Obstruction can be caused by a number of reasons and is often treatable.
Sperm can be weakened by natural antibodies which hinders your sperm from reaching the egg. Learn how medications and different treatment can help.