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Understanding Male Factor Infertility


If you have been unable to conceive, it is essential to evaluate both partners and determine the cause of infertility. About one-third of all cases of infertility can be attributed to male factor infertility. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, our board-certified reproductive specialists, Drs. Marc Kalan and Nurit Winkler, can perform a full spectrum of tests to determine what specifically is preventing you from being able to start a family. As a patient at our Los Angeles, CA, practice, you can expect to receive leading fertility care using state-of-the-art tools and techniques. 

Why Is Determining the Cause of Infertility Important?

Identifying the specific cause of infertility is essential to move toward your goal of starting a family. Whether we rule out the possibility of male factor infertility or accurately diagnose the cause in the male partner, we can then help you develop a treatment plan personalized to your needs.

Illustration of healthy vs. low sperm count

Low sperm count, abnormal shape, or poor motility (movement) can all contribute to infertility.

Leading Causes of Infertility

Male factor infertility typically manifests in abnormalities in the sperm, such as low sperm count or irregular shape or movement. There are a variety of factors that affect male fertility, including: 

Environmental Factors
Lifestyle factors such as smoking and heavy drinking can negatively affect semen quality. Additionally, some environmental toxins, such as those found in the workplace, can cause damage to sperm.
Natural Aging Process
Aging can impact male sexual function and fertility. The quality of your sperm will decrease with age. This can make it more difficult, or even impossible, to conceive.
Health Conditions
Conditions such as diabetes, HIV, gonorrhea, and smallpox, among others, can lead to male fertility issues. During treatment, patients with kidney disease may also experience reduced sperm count and function.
Cancer Treatment
Treatments such as chemotherapy can affect fertility as it can damage sperm cells. In many cases, sperm production slows or stops completely after chemotherapy. Additionally, hormone therapy, which is often used to treat prostate cancer, can lower sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction.
Genetic Conditions
Certain genetic conditions, such as chromosomal abnormalities, gene deletions, and mutations, can cause infertility.

In some cases, undergoing surgery on the genitals may also lead to male infertility.

Comprehensive Testing 

In addition to reviewing your medical history and conducting a physical examination, our team can perform a variety of tests, from basic to advanced measures, to identify what aspect of your reproductive health is affecting your fertility.

In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can improve a man's fertility.

Typically, testing for male factor infertility begins with a semen analysis which evaluates the health of your sperm. We will examine your sample to determine if there are abnormalities in the: 

  • Volume of fluid
  • Number of sperm
  • Shape of sperm 
  • Sperm motility 

Even if there is no sperm present in the ejaculated fluid, we still have options to assess for and use sperm from the testicle.

How We Can Help

There are several steps that can be taken to improve your sperm. Lifestyle changes will often focus on improving the quality and performance of sperm. In some cases, we may recommend a specialized surgical procedure that manually extracts sperm from the testicles. Based on the results of your tests, Dr. Kalan or Dr. Winkler can determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Leading Fertility Treatment 

Trust your family's future to the team at Los Angeles Reproductive Center. Our board-certified specialists are compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated to providing leading care to each patient. To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (805) 427-2959.

Reach Out To Us

Drs. Nurit Winkler and Marc Kalan of Los Angeles Reproductive Center are a unique fertility clinic focused on treating patients like family and built upon the principles of communication, compassion, warmth, openness, and service that accompanies an exceptional pregnancy rate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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