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Male Infertility

UPMC Content 2

Male infertility is a contributing factor for nearly half of infertile couples.

Causes of Male Infertility

Many things can lead to male infertility, including:

  • Antibodies.
  • Environmental factors, such as certain chemicals.
  • Spending long periods of time in hot tubs.
  • Varioceles (a collection of varicose veins in the scrotum).

Diagnosing Male Infertility

Semen analysis is one of the most important tools when looking at male infertility and sperm abnormalities.

A trained andrologist performs the semen analysis and looks at a number of factors, such as:

  • Motility.
  • Density.
  • Morphology (the size and shape of the sperm).
  • Volume.
  • Progression.
  • Viscosity.
  • Presence of round cells.
  • Antibodies.

One of the unique aspects of sperm production is that the analyzed sperm are sperm that were developed three months before.

Therefore, the quantity and quality of the sperm depends on factors that were present three months ago. These factors may or may not have changed, or may still be present.

Once the sperm are ejaculated, they must be capable of swimming in the cervical mucus through the cervix and vagina into the uterus. Conditions that impede this process may lead to male infertility.

Treating Male Infertility

Treatments may include: