Male infertility is the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex due to a factor attributed to the male partner. Overall, about 50% of infertile couples have at least some male factor causes.
Low Sperm Count
Common fertility problems that stem from a male include an obstruction, certain medications or a varicocele.
A man may be producing sperm without issue, but have a blockage in his reproductive tract that obstructs his healthy sperm from being released into his partner for insemination. Causes of obstructions may include vasectomy, infection or trauma.
All too often medications are the culprit of a man's fertility issues. Some medications actually suppress sperm production. In some cases, simply stopping the medication can bring sperm production back to normal levels over time. However, sometimes freezing sperm before undergoing drug therapy (like chemotherapy) is the only option if a man wants to use his own sperm to produce children. Otherwise, using a sperm donor will be his only recourse.
A varicocele is an abnormal dilation of veins within the scrotum. It is commonly found by physical examination and is most common on the left, but it can occur on both sides. Most men with a varicocele are not infertile. But, if there is little to no fertility issue present in his female partner or his semen analysis results are abnormal, he should see discuss his options for removal with Dr. Morgan. As many as 40% of men can have a pregnancy after varicocele correction.
Infertility in Men
Other causes of male infertility may include:
pituitary (brain gland) disorder
underlying genetic problem
Initial male fertility testing is relatively simple and inexpensive. Simple blood work will tell us a lot. And, semen analysis results can be had the very same day.
It is important to understand that even in the absence of motile (and hence viable) sperm in the semen (azoospermia), having a baby is still possible through the use of a sperm donor. We have helped thousands of couples become parents despite these circumstances.