Male Infertility

Not being able to have a child can be stressful for a couple. Male infertility may be the cause. The urology services at MaineHealth include evaluation and the latest treatments for infertility. There are many male infertility treatments available.

What is male infertility?

Male infertility decreases a man’s ability to cause a pregnancy. Many different factors can cause infertility in both men and women.

  • There may be problems making and growing sperm due to low hormone levels or other causes.

  • Sperm can be blocked such that they can’t leave the body during ejaculation.

  • Swollen veins in the scrotum can affect male infertility.

Other reasons for male infertility can include illness, injury, long-term health problems, medications and even lifestyle.

Male infertility symptoms

The main sign of infertility is a woman not getting pregnant, even though the couple has had unprotected sex for a year or more. Most men do not have any infertility symptoms themselves. But there are signs to look for:

  • Lower sex drive

  • Problems with sex (including ejaculation)

  • Problems with erections (erectile dysfunction)

  • Testicle pain, testicle swelling

  • Testicle lump

  • A lot of respiratory infections

  • Unable to smell

  • Breast growth that does not seem normal

  • Less facial hair or less body hair than seems normal

See your doctor if you have symptoms. Diagnosis starts with a physical exam and getting your medical history. You also may have to do blood tests and semen tests.

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The primary care providers at MaineHealth have the compassion and skill to care for you and the entire family. They make your health and your family’s health the first priority.
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Who's at risk for male infertility?

Male infertility risk factors

There are certain factors that can raise your risk of male infertility, including:

  • Smoking tobacco

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Illegal drug use

  • Being overweight

  • Infections

  • Exposure to toxins

  • Overheating the testicles

  • Injury to the testicles

  • Having had a vasectomy

  • Having had major stomach or pelvic surgery

  • Family history of fertility problems.

A patient will need an evaluation and screening tests.

 

Male infertility: diagnosis and treatment

Male infertility screening and male infertility treatment

Treatment of male infertility depends on the cause. Your primary care doctor or healthcare provider may refer you to a urologist who specializes in male infertility. Male infertility screening tests can include:

  • Semen analysis

  • Ultrasound

  • Testicular biopsy

  • Hormone profile

  • Genetic tests

Some male infertility problems can be fixed by:

  • Taking medication

  • Treating infections

  •  Surgery

  • Hormone treatment

  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART), which includes fertility medication, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and surrogacy.

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