According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common causes of male infertility are problems related to the ejection of semen, motility (movement) of the sperm, morphology (abnormal shape) and low level or absence of sperm.
To determine if male infertility is indeed the problem you’re currently facing, your dedicated doctor will conduct an extensive semen analysis. Once completed, the proper treatment can be recommended, including:
Varicocelectomy is a surgical procedure performed on men to remove the swollen testicular veins. This method is successful if you have a significantly enlarged varicocele. However, it is in very few cases as successful in improving your abnormal sperm parameters.
For male intended parents undergoing hormonal treatment, you’ll be required to self-administer hormone injections such as pergonal or humegon, a similar treatment used for women undergoing IVF or ovarian stimulation. Male hormonal treatment is relatively successful if you have abnormal secretion of pituitary hormones, as it stimulates the testicles to produce sperm.
Surgery may be necessary to repair a blockage affecting sperm transport. Surgery is rarely successful, but certainly an option your doctor can disclose with you during consultation.
Avoid harmful agents or activities
A simple solution to male infertility, your doctor can advise you to avoid chemicals, radiation, and environments that emit heat such as jacuzzies, saunas, and hot tubs. Your doctor will also recommend that you discontinue smoking cigarettes, marijuana and the consumption of large quantities of alcohol.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
IUI is a procedure performed during the treatment cycle alongside your female partner’s or surrogates ovulation-inducing medications, to better time the sperm's deposition and assure precise placement. This treatment is applicable to you if there’s an indication of sexual dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation or where the timing of intercourse for you and your partner is a problem.
Your doctors can refer you to a urologist who prescribes you with antibiotics to correct a transient sperm abnormality if you’ve been diagnosed with an infection.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
ICSI is used in most IVF procedures, as it increases the odds of success, even if there is no male infertility factor. However, it is an especially powerful technique for those who have severely abnormal sperm parameters, an obstruction, or low sperm count. This technique is now commonly used for men with vasectomies and has made it possible to avoid painful and often unsuccessful reversal surgeries.
Testicular biopsy (TESE)
This technique utilizes a procedure called testicular extraction of sperm (TESE), which involves inserting a thin biopsy needle inside your testicles (under local anesthesia). A small amount of testicular tissue is then aspirated, which separates the sperm present in the sample. This sperm is then used to inject into an available egg (retrieved from your female partner or surrogate) to assure fertilization.
Artificial donor sperm insemination
If your testicles are unable to produce sperm, your doctor will advise you to resort to sperm donation. You can either choose sperm donated by someone close to you, or through an anonymous donor from a sperm bank.
You can review the donor’s profiles that are suitable to your preference. Before sperm is available for donation, it must be quarantined for six months. During this time period, the donors are repeatedly checked for infectious diseases such as HIV.