How Is Male Infertility Diagnosed?

Fertility problems occur among 10-15% of couples, and in one-third of these cases, male infertility is the culprit. There are many possible causes of male infertility, so a thorough evaluation is critical to getting you on the road to building the family of your dreams.

At our practice, board-certified urologist Dr. Mike Hsieh and our team offer a wide range of men’s health services, including fertility evaluation.

In the following, we explore the possible causes of male infertility and how we go about diagnosing (and treating) them.

A problem with sperm

Far and away, the leading causes of male infertility are sperm disorders, which can lead to:

Since this is one of the primary drivers of male infertility, it’s one of the first areas we check. And doing so is fairly easy — all we need to do is to collect a sperm sample from you and examine it for any problems.

Getting through

Another problem that can lead to male infertility is a blockage in your reproductive system that’s preventing sperm from making its way into your ejaculate. One of the more common causes of blockages are varicoceles, which are swollen veins in your scrotum. Thankfully, this problem tends to be temporary, especially with the right treatment.

Other issues that can lead to a blockage include sexually transmitted diseases, injury to your testes, or a congenital structural issue.

To diagnose these issues, we perform a complete physical examination, using advanced imaging where necessary.

Erectile dysfunction

If you’re among the millions of men who struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED), it can have an impact on your fertility, for obvious reasons. The good news is that if we determine that ED is behind your fertility issues, we can take a number of steps to remedy your ED, allowing you to continue on your conception journey.

Reversing your vasectomy decision

If your infertility was, at one time, purposeful and you underwent a vasectomy, we can reverse this procedure to restore your fertility.

Reasons unknown

In another one-third of infertility problems, the underlying cause is unknown, which means we find nothing obvious in your sperm or your structures and your partner doesn’t seem to have any issues. While this can be frustrating, it’s not the end of your fertility road. 

In these cases, we offer intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This technique is used during in vitro fertilization, in which your sperm is injected directly into your partner’s donor egg. 

If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, contact our office in La Jolla, California, so we can quickly determine whether male infertility is an issue.

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