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Top Causes of Male Infertility

Studies have shown that at least 40% of infertility is male related, due to sperm abnormalities, says Dr. Mickey Coffler, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility’s Oceanside office. That’s important to remember, especially because infertility is often thought of as a woman’s disease and it is often assumed that the female partner will be the one to undergo infertility testing treatment.

According to Coffler, the top causes of male infertility, are:

  • Unknown or idiopathic: 40 to 50 percent is unknown in cause (in medical terms this is called idiopathic), and this is the most common diagnosis
  • Testicular disorders: 30 to 40 percent
  • Disorders of sperm transport: 10 to 20 percent
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary disorders: 1 to 2 percent is related to the regions in the brain that hormonally control testicular function.

“The semen analysis should be one of the first tests to be ordered during an evaluation of a couple facing fertility challenges, Coffler says. “The male partner should be evaluated early in the process as in most cases the diagnosis is straightforward, and may spare his female partner uncomfortable and costly invasive testing.”

Depending on its cause, male infertility is managed or treated by correcting the cause of the sperm abnormality, by using washed sperm with intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF), by using intracytosplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with IVF, or by surgery.


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