Male Fertility

Fortunately, once diagnosed, many causes of male infertility can be addressed through fertility treatment options.15

30% of infertility is related to male issues14

It’s More Common Than You Think

Try to adopt a healthy lifestyle to boost the chance of conception without medical involvement. Maintaining an ideal weight, a diet rich in antioxidants (found in fruits and vegetables), taking multi-vitamins, not smoking, and eliminating drugs (including supplements or steroids) may improve the quality of sperm.15 Reducing stress and controlling chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes may also improve a man’s chances of impregnating his partner.16

Age is a factor for men, just as it is for women – so don’t wait to reach out to a fertility specialist.


Reasons for Male Infertility

  • Sperm irregularities (count, concentration, volume, motility, forward progression, or shape)17
  • Scrotal varicocele18
  • Retrograde ejaculation19
  • Immune disorders20
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)21
  • Lifestyle factors such as being obese or underweight, smoking, drinking excess alcohol or caffeine, or using recreational drugs22
  • Environmental factors such as long-term intensive exposure to certain types of chemicals, toxins, or medications23
  • Hormone imbalance24
  • Vasectomy25

When to See a Fertility Specialist

If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, a fertility specialist (a Reproductive Endocrinologist) is a fantastic first step.

In general, infertility is defined as being unable to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse when a woman is under age 35, or after six months if a woman is 35 or older.26

fertility specialist will be able to treat both you and your partner and have a better view of your unique situation.


What Treatments Might Be Available

A number of different surgeries may improve chances of fertility. Varicoceles can be repaired to block off the abnormal veins, obstructions in sperm transportation can sometimes be corrected, or prior vasectomies can be reversed. If there’s no sperm in the ejaculate, sperm may sometimes be retrieved from the testicles or other parts of the male reproductive tract that contain sperm.27

Hormonal abnormalities may be treated with medicine or surgery if infertility is caused by abnormal levels of certain hormones or issues with the way the body utilizes hormones.28

If there’s an infection in the reproductive system, treatments potentially including antibiotics may be used to cure the infection, though fertility may not always be restored.29

In cases of erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, medication or counseling can be helpful.30

ART involves obtaining sperm through ejaculation or surgical extraction. Sperm is then inserted into the female genital tract or used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).31

Learn more about ART, or continue reading to discover how to get help.

How to Get Help

If you are struggling with infertility and do not yet have a relationship with a fertility specialist (a Reproductive Endocrinologist), you can find one here.

If you have any questions about fertility in general, your insurance coverage, or savings programs, you can also call 1-866-LETS-TRY for free guidance and support from Fertility.

A Helpful Resource

We’ve created a brochure that discusses your options, provides a list of questions for your first visit with a fertility specialist, and suggests trustworthy support groups. “In the Know: What No One Tells You About Male Fertility” was designed just for you.

14

RESOLVE, Male Factor, Accessed July 2016

15

 University of Maryland Medical Center, Infertility in Men, 2012

17

 University of Maryland Medical Center, Infertility in Men, 2012

18

 University of Maryland Medical Center, Infertility in Men, 2012

19

Fode M, et al. Asian J Androl. 2012;14:61-8

20

RESOLVE, Medical Conditions, Accessed September 2014

21

University of Maryland Medical Center, Infertility in Men, 2012

22

University of Maryland Medical Center, Infertility in Men, 2012

23

University of Maryland Medical Center, Infertility in Men, 2012

24

 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, How Common is Male Infertility, and What are Its Causes?, 2012

25

RESOLVE, Male Factor Problems, Accessed September 2014

26

American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Infertility: An Overview, 2012, p3

27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Mayo Clinic, Male Infertility, 2015