17 March 2017

Male Infertility: your questions answered

Male infertility

Medical Director
Cesar Diaz-Garcia
MD PhD Assoc Prof
IVI London


How common is male infertility?

Around 1 in 6 couples struggle to conceive in the UK, showing that infertility is a very common issue which greatly impacts many people we may know. It is understood that around 30% of these infertility issues are due to known male factors, 30% are due to known female factors and the remaining 40% are due to combined or unexplained causes.

What causes infertility in men?

Infertility in men can be caused by a range of different factors, but it is sometimes unfortunately unexplainable. This is not necessarily because there is no explanation, but rather because with current technologies we cannot find the explanation at this point in time.

However, there are various commonly known causes of male infertility. These include having a low sperm count where a male’s semen contains fewer sperm than normal, or no sperm at all; having poor quality sperm, such as low sperm motility or ‘abnormal sperm’. Testicular damage, ejaculation disorders, sterilisation and lifestyle choices can be other causes of male infertility. For more information please read our 5 common causes of male infertility

What should a man do if he is concerned about his fertility?

If you are concerned about your fertility, you should see your GP for further advice. After this you may wish to visit our fertility experts at IVI UK. We can provide a semen analysis if you wish to get your sperm quality and quantity checked in our state-of-the-art laboratories.

How to improve male fertility?

There are lifestyle choices that can impact male fertility, and so changing your lifestyle can improve your fertility. These changes include: improving your diet to increase its nutritious value, getting more exercise to improve your BMI, reducing chemical exposure e.g. recreational drugs, smoking, alcohol and steroids, and avoiding unsafe sex which may lead to sexually transmitted infections/ diseases causing infertility.

How is male infertility treated?

IVI is a leading specialist in reproductive medicine providing pioneering evidence-based treatments to help improve your fertility. Intra uterine insemination (IUI) is one of the most straightforward and simple fertility treatments and is available at all IVI UK clinics. Sperm is prepared in the laboratory and is then transferred directly into a woman’s uterus. This increases the chances that the sperm will reach the egg to fertilise it by decreasing the distance needed to travel, ideal for men with low sperm motility or a low sperm count. At IVI clinics, ICSI is also available for couples suffering from male infertility. ICSI can be included in a couple’s IVF treatment to facilitate fertilisation. The man must provide a semen sample, or undergo Surgical Sperm Retrieval if necessary, for the best quality spermatozoa to be selected and inserted directly into the female’s oocyte bringing both cells together for the highest chance of fertilisation.

What is a male infertility test?

If you wish to test your fertility, then you can arrange to have a semen analysis test. A semen analysis test is available to analyse your sperm count and assess the mobility of your sperm. A semen analysis also checks to see if a male’s sperm has any abnormalities. A semen analysis is available at all IVI UK clinics.

Where can I get a male fertility test?

IVI UK offers semen analysis tests to all men who wish to understand more about their fertility, through analysing their semen.

What doctor should I see for male fertility?

Initially, you may wish to see your GP if you have any concerns about your fertility. After this, the next step would be to see one our leading experts at an IVI UK clinic. Our Consultants, Nurses and Embryologists are all specialists in the field of Fertility and Reproductive Medicine.

If you would like to know more about the treatments available at our IVI clinics, then please see the treatment pages on our website, or you can contact our friendly UK Support Services for more information or to arrange a consultation on 0800 52 00 161.

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