Treatment for Male Infertility
Treatment varies depending on the cause, and severity of the male infertility. In mild cases use of IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) itself may be sufficient. During an IUI the semen sample is concentrated and cleaned in the laboratory and then injected directly into the uterus. If the cause is hormonal in origin then hormone treatments might be recommended. Some mild cases can also be treated through lifestyle changes. However, it is important to note that any lifestyle or medical intervention that a man goes through in order to improve their sperm count will take time to be effective. The male sperm production process is a lengthy one that takes about three months from start to finish. This means that it can take up to three months for any changes to make a noticeable difference.
In more severe cases, IVF with or without ICSI may be indicated. Through the use of ICSI, we can achieve very high fertilization rates, even in severe male factor cases.
Even the most severe cases of male factor infertility, where there is no sperm in the ejaculate (clinically referred to as azoospermia) can be treated. If you have been diagnosed with azoospermia there is still a possibility that you have some degree of sperm production in the testes, but its delivery to the ejaculatory ducts has been blocked. In these cases, surgery can be used to determine if there is still sperm being produced in the testes, and if so to retrieve enough for fertility treatments. The most common type of surgical intervention is a testicular biopsy (sometimes called a testicular aspiration). This procedure can be used to further diagnose the issue and retrieve enough healthy sperm, if they are present, to be used in an IVF cycle paired with ICSI. It is also possible to freeze the sperm for use in a later IVF cycle, or to use one aspiration for multiple cases if enough sperm are found. However, this will vary depending on individual factors. We almost always recommend a fresh sample whenever possible as the freezing/thawing process is detrimental to sperm quality and, generally, only a small amount of sperm is obtained through these procedures.
Whatever the cause, our specialists at ORH have extensive training and experience with the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.
Although many of the specific causes of severe male infertility remain unknown, it is estimated that almost 50% of cases may be due to contributing genetic factors, and there are over 30 known genetic diseases that will cause infertility in men.