The treatment of male infertility depends on the cause. Generally there are a mix of medications, surgical approaches and assisted reproductive techniques (ART) available to treat many of the underlying fertility problems. The treatment options include:
- Surgery: varicocelectomy is frequently used to repair dilated scrotal veins. Successful varicocelectomy results in improvement in semen. In cases of infertility due to obstruction, it can be treated by surgical intervention. Prior vasectomies can also be corrected with surgery.
- Medication: the doctor can prescribe drugs or hormonal treatments when the diagnosis shows lower levels of hormones or problem with the body’s ability to use these hormones.
If these techniques fail, fertility specialists have a variety of other high-tech assisted reproductive techniques that promote conception without intercourse.
Depending on the type of problem the following procedures can be done:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): in this technique the sperm is placed directly into the uterus at the time of ovulation. This technique increases the number of sperm reaching the fallopian tubes thus increasing the chances of conceiving. It can be used in low sperm levels, retrograde ejaculation and other causes.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): in this technique the sperm and egg are combined in a laboratory dish and after 48 to 72 hours of incubation, the fertilized egg (embryo) is inserted in the uterus and normal pregnancy should result. It has been seen that this treatment provides a greater chance for pregnancy in women with damaged fallopian tubes, infertile partners and others.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): It is a variation of in vitro fertilization, which involves injecting a single sperm directly into the egg. The indications of this technique are generally patients with poor sperm quality.