Male factor infertility is a common problem in many couples who are struggling to conceive. In most cases male partners are perfectly healthy and unaware there’s a problem with their sperm until pregnancy doesn’t occur.
The good news is that there are male infertility treatments that can help. Even if you’re not producing any sperm at all in your semen, it may still be possible for you to father your own child with the right specialist help.
At Manchester Fertility we have two male fertility specialists: Dr Stephen Payne and Dr Steve Bromage. As Consultant Urological Surgeons, both have considerable expertise in the successful treatment of male infertility.
The first step is to correctly diagnose the issue, and this is usually done through semen analysis. This is where you give us a semen sample for our Andrology team to examine in our specialist laboratory.
We are looking at:
- Sperm mobility: How well your sperm moves and whether it is capable of swimming to the egg
- Sperm morphology: The shape of your sperm – abnormally-shaped sperm have difficulty with mobility and reaching the egg
- Sperm count: How many sperm you have in your semen sample
Once we have identified the issue, we then need to look at the underlying cause of your sperm disorder. This may involve blood tests to check the levels of your hormones that govern sperm development and maturation.
Most common sperm disorders can be overcome through treatments such as IVF, where your sperm is mixed with the egg in our laboratory to fertilise it, or ICSI, where a single, healthy sperm is extracted from your semen and injected directly into the egg to fertilise it.
If you’re not producing any sperm at all in your sample and have a very low or zero count – known as azoospermia – we can help through a highly-specialist procedure called Surgical Sperm Retrieval.
This is where we aim to extract sperm from your testicular tissue, using various techniques. Even though your sperm isn’t being ejaculated in your semen, it doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t any being produced at all within your reproductive system.
Any sperm we manage to extract will be analysed and then used in an ICSI treatment cycle.
So if you’re having trouble conceiving, don’t assume that the problem is always female-related. Male infertility is extremely common and is fairly simple to diagnose.
To identify if sperm disorders are affecting your chances of pregnancy, you can either visit your GP for tests or you can book in for private male fertility testing with us. You can opt for a Mini Fertility MOT or a full fertility MOT test, there’s no waiting list and you’ll be seen quickly, with a detailed follow-up consultation with our fertility specialists.
Testing can be carried out individually or as a couple, we do recommend couples testing to ensure that there are no issues for either of you.
Last updated: 20th November 2015