What is infertility?
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected intercourse. For women who are older than 35, this time period drops to six months.
Isn't it just about the woman?
For some many couples, the planning and dreaming about having a family comes to a grinding, frustrating halt as month after month they do not conceive. While there seems to be a huge amount of information available for women who are experiencing infertility, the general population is not as educated about male factor infertility.
The real truth about male factor infertility
Approximately 15 percent of all couples are infertile. Up to 50 percent of these infertile couples will have a male factor component and 30 percent of couples will not be able to conceive solely because of a male factor.
Complete evaluation for male patients
Our physicians recommend a complete evaluation for male patients, including a semen analysis, to identify the cause of a couples' infertility. The evaluation is a critical component of solving the cause of the infertility and needs to be performed and managed by experienced physicians and a competent reproductive laboratory. Additionally, male hormone levels may influence sperm counts and should be evaluated by a male fertility specialist. Every man who is having problems conceiving with his partner requires an evaluation, which includes:
- A complete history and physical examination
- Reproductive history of both male and female partners
- Screening semen analysis
- Blood work
- Possible advanced testing with ultrasound
If there are any abnormalities found on preliminary screening, your physician will discuss one of the many options that may be available to you and your partner.
Varicoceles, similar to varicose veins in the leg, are also a known cause of male infertility and can be evaluated and treated by the male infertility specialists at Chesapeake Urology.
Learn more about varicoceles and varicocele repair.
Conceiving a child, naturally
Many physicians, on finding a man has low sperm count, will send couples to a reproductive endocrinologist to begin the process of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of these types of procedures.
However, at the Male Fertility and Sexuality Group at Chesapeake Urology Associates, our physician's philosophy is that each and every couple should have the opportunity to try and conceive a child naturally.
There can be many underlying causes why a man's sperm count is low, and there are several methods of treatment that may allow a couple to skip ART.
Things you want to consider if you are having trouble getting pregnant:
- Age of both partners
- Reproductive history of both partners
- Male factor infertility
- Female infertility
- What methods you are willing to use to try and have a baby naturally
yes, A Vasectomy Can Be Reversed
Many couples wonder if the male partner had a vasectomy five, 10 or even 20 years prior, can the procedure be reversed so that a child may be conceived naturally? The answer is, yes!
The chance of a successful vasectomy reversal, regardless of the number of years since the vasectomy, is high. Chesapeake Urology's microsurgical specialists - Drs. Boyle, Lerner and Fenig - are also co-directors of The Vasectomy Reversal Center of America where the reversal success rate is more than 90 percent for vasectomy reversals. Our physicians have reversed vasectomies successfully for patients up to 36 years following the surgery and are dedicated to helping couples conceive a child naturally.