Male and Female Infertility

Male infertility treatment and care

Male infertility can be due to several factors, including low sperm production and abnormal sperm function. Lifestyle and environmental factors for both men and women can also contribute to a couple’s infertility. These can include stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol intake, and exposure to toxins and chemicals.

As you explore the medical causes of male infertility through blood and fertility testing and semen and sperm analysis with your fertility doctor, there are medical, surgical, and fertility treatments to help with conception.

Female infertility treatment and care

Female infertility can be due to several factors, including failure to ovulate, an abnormal uterus, endometriosis, or thyroid problems. Lifestyle and environmental factors can also contribute to a couple’s infertility.

At ARC, our first step in infertility treatment involves diagnosing the cause through testing and then planning a course of care, which might include artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help you with conception.

Tests include:

  • Sperm count (semen analysis) - At least two semen samples are taken on separate days. Your provider will check the semen and sperm for many things. These include how much semen you make, how uniform it is, and how acidic it is. He or she will also look at how many sperm you make, how well they move, and what shape they are.
  • Blood tests - Your provider may use blood tests to check hormone levels and rule out other problems.
  • Other tests - Your provider does these tests to find the cause of sperm defects or health problems of the male reproductive system. For instance, imaging tests like an ultrasound may be used to look at your testicles, blood vessels, and structures inside the scrotum.
  • Testicular biopsy - If semen analysis shows that you have only a few sperm or no sperm, your provider may remove a small piece of tissue (biopsy) from each testicle. The sample will be checked under a microscope.

Male infertility can be treated in a number of ways, depending on the cause of infertility. Treatment options include:

  • Fertility help - This treatment involves helping your partner get pregnant. This may be through artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT). Your provider collects your sperm. Then he or she mixes your partner’s eggs with a lot of high-quality sperm. He or she may mix the eggs and sperm in the lab or in your partner’s fallopian tube.
  • Medicine - Hormone treatment may help if you have a hormone disorder causing your infertility. Hormone imbalances can affect how sperm develop. They may be caused by a problem in how the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and testes interact. Treatment may include gonadotropin therapy or antibiotics.
  • Surgery - Your provider may use surgery to fix problems that keep sperm from being made, matured, or ejaculated. Surgery to remove twisted, swollen veins in the scrotum (varicocele) can sometimes improve the quality of sperm.