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Male Factor Subfertility and Infertility


Male factor subfertility and infertility

are conditions that cause a man to have problems getting a woman pregnant. Infertility means you are not physically able to get a woman pregnant. Subfertility means you are physically able, but your partner has not yet become pregnant. Pregnancy may still happen, but it is less likely without medical help.

Male Reproductive System


depends on the cause:

  • Medicine may be given to treat an infection of the reproductive system. Testosterone may be given if your level is too low. Steroids may be used to treat infertility caused by a problem in the immune system.
  • Percutaneous embolization is a procedure to treat a varicocele. The blood flow in the enlarged veins is blocked to stop the flow of blood.
  • Sperm extraction is a procedure to remove sperm from the testicles or epididymis if you have a blockage. The collected sperm may be saved or used to fertilize a woman's egg.
  • Surgery may be done to repair a blockage in the sperm duct or remove a tumor.
  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART) can be done in several ways. An unfertilized egg may be placed into your partner's fallopian tube along with sperm. This allows fertilization to happen inside her body. Her eggs may be removed and fertilized by sperm outside of her body. Then the fertilized eggs (embryos) are put back into her uterus or fallopian tubes.

What you can do to increase your fertility:

  • Create a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your healthcare provider about a healthy weight for you. Being overweight increases your risk for infertility. Healthcare providers can help you create healthy meal and exercise plans if you need to lose weight. Do not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use illegal drugs. Any of these can cause infertility. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
  • Ask about ways to manage stress. Stress can make infertility problems worse. Stress can become worse the longer infertility continues. Try to find ways to help yourself relax. A regular sleep schedule can also help lower stress. Talk to your healthcare provider if you continue to have problems managing stress.
  • Do not let your testicles get too warm. Warmth can kill sperm. Hot tubs and tight underwear are common causes of overheating. Tight underwear pulls your testicles up where they are affected by body heat. You may also need to use a different kind of underwear, such as boxers. Do not sit in hot tubs while you and your partner are trying to conceive.

For support and more information:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
    11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
    Leawood , KS 66211-2680
    Phone: 1- 913 - 906-6000
    Phone: 1- 800 - 274-2237
    Web Address:
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
    1209 Montgomery Highway
    Birmingham , AL 35216-2809
    Phone: 1- 205 - 978-5000
    Web Address:

Follow up with your doctor or urologist as directed:

You may need ongoing tests. Your doctor may also recommend that you work with an endocrinologist (hormone specialist) or male reproductive specialist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Male Factor Subfertility and Infertility (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.