Reproductive Health

For men and their partners who are having difficulty getting pregnant, AHN has several options to diagnose and treat issues with male infertility.

Causes of male infertility

Most cases are due to issues in the testes leading to deficient sperm production. A small percentage of cases are due to conditions affecting the hormone production or genetics, and about 5% are due to a problem with transportation of sperm as they exit the testes during ejaculation. Also, some men with infertility may have no clear cause or abnormality.

Diagnosing male infertility

Medical history is important in evaluating infertility. Factors include childhood growth and development as well as sexual development during puberty. Additional details concerning sexual history, prior illnesses, infections, and surgeries — as well as medications and exposure to various environmental elements — are also important to identify.

To help reach a diagnosis, your doctor may perform or recommend any of the following:

  • A focused physical exam: will be performed to detect obvious physical issues.
  • Semen analysis: A semen analysis (sperm count) provides information about the amount of semen and the number, motility, and shape of sperm. At least two semen analyses are recommended.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests provide information about hormones that affect fertility. These are prescribed if sperm concentration is low or the clinician suspects a hormonal problem.
  • Urine tests: This determines whether semen is entering the bladder and mixing with the urine (called retrograde ejaculation).
  • Genetic screening: Specialized blood tests determine presence of genetic abnormalities, allowing for analysis of the structure of chromosomes as well as absent or abnormal regions of the male Y chromosome.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound can detect abnormalities in the testes, including blockages.
  • Biopsies: A biopsy allows the physician to examine the microscopic structure of the testes and determine if sperm are present.

Male infertility treatments

AHN offers multiple treatments — surgical and nonsurgical — depending on the cause of infertility.

Nonsurgical treatments may include medications, lifestyle changes, or hormone treatments.

Surgical treatments may correct a defect or remove a blockage. Common surgical procedures include vasectomy reversal, blockage removal, and repair of an enlarged vein.

Assisted reproductive technologies

Available through a multidisciplinary approach with your urologist and a reproductive endocrinologist, these can include:

  • IUI — intrauterine insemination: Placing sperm into the woman’s uterus through a tube. This is often used when the sperm count is low, the patient is experiencing retrograde ejaculation, or has issues with movement of sperm.
  • ICSI / IVF — intracytoplasmic sperm injection / in vitro fertilization: A woman’s egg is retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. After 3-5 days of growth, the fertilized egg is placed in the uterus.

In many cases, male infertility is treatable. If you’re struggling with infertility, make an appointment as soon as possible.

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677  or, request an appointment to learn more about reproductive health and male infertility.