Treatment for Male Factor Infertility

Treatment for male factor infertility is determined by the subject’€™s age, extent of infertility, outcome expectations, and general preference.

For structural problems, surgery could be the only option, usually opted for to overcome anatomical barriers that get in the way of sperm production, maturation and/or ejaculation. Surgical procedures to remove varicose veins in the scrotum sometimes improve the quality of sperm. These veins could become dilated if blood does not drain properly from them. These dilated veins, in turn, could allow extra blood to collect in the scrotum, negatively impacting sperm production.

In cases where fertility is impaired by infection or immune system disorders, medication can be used for treatment. Hormone therapy is also a treatment option for men suffering from a hormonal disorder. However, the most common and successful remedy for male factor infertility is assisted reproduction, through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or, preferably, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), both discussed in great detail in the Assisted Reproduction section of this site. Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) is a good method, especially if the semen sample is washed to enhance number and quality, but its success rate is considerably lower than IVF or ICSI.

For azoospermia, the condition in which there is a complete absence of sperm in semen, which affects about 1% of the male population, and which is the cause of up to 20% of male infertility situations, pre- and post-testicular cases are correctible using the required medication. Testicular cases, on the other hand, are permanent.

If the azoospermia is a delivery, and not a production, problem (meaning sperm is produced but simply does not make its way to the ejaculate), sperm can be retrieved in a number of ways, one of which is the restoration of the sperm’s normal flow. The delivery problem is often caused by missing or blocked sperm ducts, which, for the latter, can sometimes be cleared.

If it is a production problem, especially one that is irreversible, it is possible for sperm to be harvested surgically.