About This Condition
Infertility is defined by doctors as the failure of a couple to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse.
In men, infertility is usually associated with a decrease in the number, quality, or motility (power of movement) of sperm. There are multiple possible underlying causes for male infertility, some of which readily respond to natural medicine, while others do not. The specific cause of infertility should always be diagnosed by a physician before considering possible solutions.
The inability of a couple to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected sex may indicate infertility of one or both sexual partners. Low sperm count in the semen, decreased sperm motility, or abnormal shape of the sperm are responsible for infertility in about 40% of these couples.
Initial treatments may include timing sexual activity for ovulation (usually during the second week of the menstrual cycle), avoiding drugs that may reduce sperm count, and limiting intercourse to no more than once every three days, except during ovulation. Artificial insemination can also be used to place sperm directly in the cervix or uterus. Another more advanced procedure is called “in vitro fertilization” (IVF), wherein the man’s sperm and the woman’s egg (collected from the ovary in a surgical procedure) are combined under controlled conditions in a laboratory. The fertilized embryo is then implanted into the woman’s uterus. The injectable drug follitropin alfa (Gonal-f) may be beneficial in certain situations. Clomiphene (Clomid), though controversial, and anastrozole (Arimidex) might also improve fertility in some men.