Infertility is a term doctors use if a man hasn't been able to get a woman pregnant after at least one year of trying. Causes of male infertility include:
- Physical problems with the testicles
- Blockages in the ducts that carry sperm
- Hormone problems
- A history of high fevers or mumps
- Genetic disorders
- Lifestyle or environmental factors
About one-third of the time, infertility relates to a condition with the man. One-third of the time, it’s related to a condition with the woman. Sometimes no cause can be determined.
Medical testing can determine the cause of some male infertility. Testing might include:
- A physical evaluation looking for indications of hormone deficiency or another urologic condition
- A medical history that might include childhood diseases, injury to the genitourinary area or recent high fever or infection
- Genetic screening
- A blood test to determine hormone levels
- Semen analysis
When a cause is found, treatments may include medicines, surgery or assisted reproductive technologies.
- Medication can help treat male fertility related to hormone imbalances and erectile dysfunction.
- Surgery may help correct or repair anatomic abnormalities or damage to reproductive organs.
- Medical procedures can be used to deliver sperm to the woman, fertilize the egg in a laboratory or enlist a third party for sperm donation.
- Surgery can also repair a varicocele or blockages in the tubes that transport sperm.
Today, two-thirds of couples treated for infertility are able to conceive.