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Male Infertility

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment of male infertility focuses on the underlying cause. Without treatment, 15% to 20% of infertile couples will eventually get pregnant. Treatment for a male with infertility may include:

  • avoiding extended periods of time in hot baths and hot tubs
  • eating a healthy diet and exercising in moderation
  • having a varicocele surgically repaired
  • having vasectomy reversal surgery, which reconnects the tubes carrying sperm from the testes
  • learning about the best times to conceive
  • making lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and limiting intake of alcohol
  • taking antibiotics for any diagnosed infection
  • taking hormone therapy
  • treating erectile dysfunction with counseling, medication, or surgery
  • wearing loose-fitting underwear, such as boxer shorts

If these treatments don't work, other means of fertilization may be considered, such as:

  • artificial insemination. This involves placing sperm directly in the cervix or uterus.
  • intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This involves placing individual sperm cells directly inside the woman's eggs.
  • in vitro fertilization. This involves fertilizing the egg outside the womb and then returning it to the uterus.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Surgery can cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reactions to anesthesia. In vitro fertilization increases the chance of having a multiple pregnancy, such as twins. Antibiotics and other medications may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, or an allergic reaction.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

Within a year after infertility is diagnosed, 80% to 85% of couples who have treatment get pregnant. It may take several attempts before a couple gets pregnant. Partners must decide how many and what kind of procedures they are willing to undertake.

How is the condition monitored?

The man can monitor his own ability to impregnate a woman. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.