Infertility in men: What are the treatment options

When a man is unable to impregnate a fertile female, he is said to be infertile. In around 40% of infertility cases, the man is infertile and it is often due to problems in sperm delivery or production. Another symptom of male infertility would be the inability to deliver a live-born infant. Finding the right cause for infertility will require some blood tests and sperm tests. Majority of male infertility cases can be treated medically or surgically to make natural conception possible. A proper diagnosis will help treat the patient with the right kind of treatment.

Here are some treatments for male infertility:

1. Surgery:

Surgery for treating male infertility can be done in an outpatient procedure. The patient will be under general anaesthesia or IV sedation. While pain after surgery is often mild, recovery and follow-up might vary. Surgery is recommended for repairing blockages in the tubes of the reproductive system such as the epididymis and the ejaculatory duct. Varicocele, a condition where the veins of the scrotum are enlarged, and an obstructed vas deferens can also be repaired through surgery. Previously done vasectomies can also be reversed. In some cases, their ejaculate may not contain the sperm. Surgery can get the sperm directly from the testicles using sperm retrieval surgeries.

2. Antibiotics for infections:

With a semen test, the doctor will be able to identify if there is an infection in the genital tract. An infection can lead to a high white blood cell count in the semen which affects the chances of the sperm being able to fertilize an egg. Moreover, infections can cause problems for the sperm’s health as well as it’s production. They can even cause blockages and inflammations that can cause problems for the sperm’s transportation. Antibiotics can be used to treat these infections, but it is important to discuss this with your doctor as they may also affect fertility.

3. Prescription for sexual intercourse problems:

Though erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation may or may not be caused by male infertility, the end result still remains the same – the sperm is not able to fertilise the egg. Doctors can prescribe counselling and certain medication to help improve fertility in conditions like these.

4. Hormone treatments and medications:

While evaluating the cause of a man’s infertility, the doctor may also want to check for high and lows of the male hormones. These certain hormones are needed for the production of sperm. In some cases, the body may not be using these hormones properly. To fix these hormone-related issues, the doctor may recommend hormone replacement or medication.

5. Assisted reproductive technology (ART):

When all other infertility treatment fails or cannot be done, ART is another way to get a woman pregnant but without sexual intercourse. The best quality sperms are taken for this procedure. This technology transfers sperm to the woman using microsurgical methods. First, the sperm needs to be obtained from either surgical extraction or ejaculation, which can be used fresh or frozen (to be used at a later time). The collected sperm can be directly inserted into the female genital tract or used to perform IVF, IUI or ICSI (a variation of IVF).

A thorough evaluation is important before deciding on any treatment plan. Doctors will look at the man’s health history, past injuries, recent high fevers and childhood diseases. Certain medical conditions can also affect a male’s fertility such as diabetes, spinal injury and even mental illnesses. Even if an exact cause cannot be found, the doctor will offer treatments that may have improved fertility in the past.

If you know someone who is struggling with male fertility issues, you should get him checked with the urologist. To book an appointment, please visit:

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