Understanding male infertility – The prevalence of male fertility issues in the U.S.
Men dealing with infertility may feel isolated and alone, but they aren’t. Understanding male infertility starts with looking at the statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, male fertility issues cause about one in three infertility cases in this country. Female infertility causes another third and the remaining third is either unknown or a mixture of both male and female infertility.
Our Southern California fertility doctor Robert Anderson MD partners with men to diagnose male infertility and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to overcome these issues.
Understanding male infertility – Making a diagnosis
To diagnose male infertility, Dr. Anderson takes a health history, performs a physical exam and conducts diagnostic tests to help with understanding male infertility. Usually, male fertility issues stem from a problem with sperm production, movement or shape. If we do detect a problem, our team can treat most conditions with non-surgical or surgical treatment options.
The first male fertility test is a semen analysis so that we can determine sperm count, volume, movement and shape. If there’s an abnormal result, our team may recommend further testing with our Southern California fertility doctor or a trained urologist.
- Transrectal ultrasound uses a lubricated wand inside the rectum and sound waves to create images of the structures inside the body. It will show whether the seminal vesicles or ejaculatory ducts are blocked.
- Scrotal ultrasound can see whether there is a varicocele (an enlarged vein in the scrotum) or other problems that are affecting the sperm.
- Hormone profile is a simple blood test that can tell whether your hormone levels, such as testosterone, are out of balance.
- Urinalysis can tell whether sperm are in your urine. This could indicate a problem called retrograde ejaculation, which causes the sperm to go backward into the bladder.
- Testicular biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue from your testicles and examining it under a microscope. You will receive general or local anesthesia.
Male infertility treatment
Our Southern California fertility doctor and local urologists can provide treatment for male fertility issues. The recommended treatment for you will depend on your diagnosis. For example, we can treat hormonal imbalances, infections and erectile dysfunction with medication. Issues like varicoceles and blockages can be fixed with minor surgery.
For help understanding male infertility, including how we treat it, contact us for an appointment. We can get you on the path to parenthood.