July 2022

What are treatments for male infertility?

Women are usually thought to have more issues with infertility than men. Men struggle with infertility and it can often go unnoticed. A man may not know that he is infertile or has a low sperm count until a couple decides to get fertility tests after a significant period of trying and failing to conceive. 

What are the causes of male infertility?

There are many causes of male infertility. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Azoospermia: the inability to produce sperm cells.
  • Oligospermia: low or poor quality sperm production.
  • Genetic diseases: many genetic diseases may impact a man’s fertility.
  • Cancer treatment: radiation and chemotherapy can impact fertility.
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, a high or low BMI, heavy drug or alcohol use, and steroids can cause infertility.
  • Hormonal disorders: some disorders such as those that affect one’s pituitary glands can affect fertility.
  • Varicoceles: bulging veins above the testicles that can cause infertility.


Fertility is complex and there are many factors that can cause a man to be infertile. If you are struggling to conceive with your partner it is important to see a doctor to determine what factors are preventing pregnancy. [1]


male infertility


How to treat male infertility?

In the past male infertility wasn’t commonly treatable. Now there are treatments and ways to improve fertility in men. A few treatments are:

  • Repairing varicoceles through surgery by blocking off the abnormal veins can improve fertility. This can allow your reproductive system to function normally.
  • Hormonal abnormalities that cause infertility can be treated by medication or surgery. Many hormonal issues that cause infertility can be improved with medication.
  • If there are any blockages in the body's transport of the sperm, this can be fixed surgically. Surgery is a possibility for a few treatments of male fertility. Surgery can improve issues that cause male infertility. 

There aren’t many treatments for male infertility, but there are options to choose from. Conceiving through natural conception may not be an option for all couples who are dealing with male infertility. [2]


How can assisted reproduction combat male infertility?

Assisted reproduction techniques (ARTs) have been extremely effective in combating male fertility. For conception using ARTs semen is collected and processed to be introduced to eggs. This can be through:

  • Intrauterine insemination: which is when sperm is injected into the uterus during ovulation. Women also take medication to increase the number of eggs released.
  • In-vitro fertilization is also possible, this is the mixing of sperm and eggs outside of the uterus, and the fertilized eggs are placed back into the uterus. 
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is used when the sperm count is very low. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is the injection of a single sperm into an egg.


There are many ways for a couple to have a child, despite male infertility. It is important to speak with your doctor about the right options for you. ARTs can be a great option for couples. ARTs are proven to work 40% to 50% of the time for couples.[2]

Close to 10% of men struggle with infertility. It is important to recognize you are not alone and this is a medical issue that should be discussed with your doctor. There are many options to combat male infertility and your doctor will help you choose the right treatment for you. [3]



[1] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17201-male-infertility

[2] https://www.webmd.com/men/features/male-infertility-treatments

[3] https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infertility/conditioninfo/common