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Infertility affects men and women equally. Approximately 40 percent of infertility is male related; 40 percent is female related; and 20 percent is unexplained or a combination of male and female factors.

Getting Started

The fertility workup for men includes a physical exam as well as a semen analysis which measures the amount of semen produced and how many viable sperm are in the semen.

Medical Issues

Medical issues that may contribute to male factor infertility include:

  • Azoospermia—no or low levels of sperm in the semen
  • Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens (CBAVD)—the vas deferens fail to form properly prior to birth
  • Hypospadia—misplaced urinary opening in the penis
  • Retrograde ejaculation—semen is discharged through the bladder rather than ejaculated through the penis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)—infections of the male genitalia and male reproductive system
  • Varicoceles—enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum

Psychological Issues

Erectile dysfunction and impotence are often the result of psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and fear of failure to perform. Diagnosis may include physical and psychosocial exams as well as laboratory tests. Treatments include topical medications, oral medications, and penile injections.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for male factor infertility may include the following:

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
  • Surgery
  • Medications

Emotional Support

If faced with male factor infertility you may experience a range of emotions including anger and embarrassment. Learn more about the underlying medical condition and ask questions to help deal with the situation. Considering attending a support group and conduct research (online, through books) to help understand and get a handle on the emotional impact of the disease.