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Male Factor Infertility

More often than not, discussions of fertility treatments are centered around the woman…and for good reason. In the majority of IVF cases treated at my practice, it is typically the female partner who has the infertility diagnosis. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 56% of our IVF cases were for female infertility diagnoses such as tubal factor, ovulatory dysfunction, diminished ovarian reserve, and uterine factor.* That’s a significant percentage indeed.

Nevertheless, it’s also important to remember that infertility affects men as well. At my practice, 25% of diagnoses involved male factor infertility.* Again, these numbers reflect my practice and those numbers can vary from clinic to clinic. In fact, according to the American Urological Association (AUA), in up to 50 percent of couples having difficulty getting pregnant, the problem is at least in part related to male reproductive issues.

Bottom line—infertility is not a female issue and if a couple is having fertility issues it is imperative that the male partner undergo a semen analysis. Below is a guideline for what are defined as the normal values for the sperm analysis, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO):

Semen Analysis-WHO Minimal Standards of Adequacy
Ejaculate volume----------1.5-5.0cc (milliliters)
Sperm Concentration----->20 million sperm per cc
Forward Progression------2 (scale 1-4)
Morphology----------------30% normal forms (WHO criteria)
Morphology---------------->4% normal forms (Krueger criteria)

If you would like to learn more about male factor infertility as well as the diagnostic and treatment options available, please click
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About the Author

Dr. Herbert is a fertility expert and an innovator in the field.