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Male Infertility

One in eight couples struggles to conceive – and one third of those are due in part to male infertility. Lehigh Valley Health Network’s dedicated men’s health urology specialists have the expertise you need. Get answers to your questions and a full range of solutions, tailored to your situation.

Male infertility is when a man’s body has problems with one or more functions necessary for reproduction. Infertility affects men and women in different ways. If you’re looking for guidance on the best next steps to grow your family, we can help.

At LVHN, our care team is highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility in men. Because we understand the emotions at play when you’re trying to conceive, we provide that care efficiently and with the highest degree of compassion.

Signs of male infertility

Many men affected by infertility have no outward symptoms. Men who do have symptoms may have:

  • Some type of sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction
  • Low sexual desire
  • Pain or swelling near the testicles
  • Problems smelling
  • Low sperm count (less than 20 million per milliliter)

If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year or longer using unprotected sex, talk with your doctor. Your provider may want to see you sooner if you notice one or more symptoms of infertility.

Male infertility diagnosis

LVHN’s “centers of excellence” approach to urology care ensures you’re seen by care specialists who are highly trained and educated in the nuances of infertility in men.

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your provider may recommend blood tests or semen analysis to learn more about the factors contributing to infertility. Other tests, such as ultrasound, may also help determine the cause of sperm abnormalities or problems within the male reproductive system.

Male infertility treatments

At LVHN, you can access a wide range of male infertility treatments, including:

Medication

Hormonal imbalances can sometimes affect sperm development, causing male infertility. In these cases, hormone therapy such as gonadotropin therapy or antibiotics can effectively correct the problem.

Assisted reproductive technologies

You and your partner may find success in a range of assistive procedures that require the participation of both partners. Ask your provider how you could benefit from:

  • Artificial insemination: A doctor places sperm directly into a woman’s cervix or uterus.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): Mature eggs (collected from your ovaries) are fertilized in a lab, with sperm collected from your partner or a donor. Your doctor then places the fertilized egg in your uterus.
  • Gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT): This treatment is similar to IVF, with sperm and egg combined just before the time of insertion. Fertilization happens in a woman’s body, not a lab.
  • Microsurgical fertilization: Certain procedures surgically address the factors that are causing male infertility.

Surgery

In certain instances, your provider may recommend surgery to address your fertility concerns. Surgical therapies in male infertility are designed to overcome your body’s own barriers to reproduction (such as sperm production) or improve sperm quality. Our urologic surgeons use minimally invasive and robotic techniques to address male infertility in new and less invasive ways.