Infertility in Men
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Infertility is not being able to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected sex. Men are considered infertile if they:
In some people the cause is not known. In others, it may be due to:
Some things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
The main symptom is not being able to conceive after one year of unprotected sex.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked about the work that you do and whether you have been exposed to certain toxins. A physical exam will be done. Your partner may also be referred for testing.
Your fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken. This can be done with:
The goal of treatment is to improve the changes of conception. It will depend on what is causing the problem. Some treatments can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Options are:
Changes that may help are:
Medicine may be given to treat hormone imbalances. This may increase sperm count and quality.
Surgery may be done to repair a varicocele, correct an obstruction, or reverse a vasectomy.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
ART uses sperm and eggs or embryos in a lab to help with conception. The eggs and sperm can be from you and your partner or donated. Methods are:
Here are some things to avoid to lower the risk of this problem:
Reproductive Facts—American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Resolve—The National Infertility Association
Men's Health Centre
Sex & U—the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Infertility in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/infertility-in-men-23. Accessed November 11, 2021.
Male infertility/andrology. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: https://www.reproductivefacts.org/topics/topics-index/male-infertility. Accessed November 11, 2021.
Overview of infertility. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/infertility/overview-of-infertility. Accessed November 11, 2021.
Reproductive health and the workplace. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro. Accessed November 11, 2021
Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN