Dealing with Infertility When He Has the Issue

Treatments

8. Can male infertility be avoided?

According to Dr. Esposito, some of the myths you may have heard about tight underwear and hot tubs affecting a man' "swimmers" may be true. Many lifestyle choices can adversely affect male fertility.

"Anything that increases heat production in the scrotal and testicular area is not good," Dr. Esposito says. Most obviously, hot tubs and saunas are big no-no's. But the "too hot" list also includes wearing tight underwear, so when you're trying to get pregnant, boxers are better than briefs. Bike riding can also be a problem not only because of tight riding shorts, but also because the act of bike riding causes the male genitals to be in much closer proximity to the body, thereby increasing body temperature, which can decrease semen parameters.

Dr. Esposito also cautions against smoking tobacco or marijuana as well as excessive alcohol use or other recreational drug use when trying to conceive. "All of these can adversely affect sperm concentrations, how well the sperm are moving, and how many sperm are normally formed," she explains.

9. How is male infertility treated?

Different treatments are available depending on what is causing the problem, such as extracting sperm from the testicle to be injected into an egg for in vitro fertilization, or washing sperm to be used during alternative insemination. Dr. Esposito says that hormone-stimulating drugs commonly used to treat female infertility may actually help guys too. These work similarly in men; some, such as Clomid, help the brain to secrete more hormones that will increase sperm production, and others cause the testicles to increase sperm production. Your guy's fertility doctor or urologist will discuss the best course of treatment for his particular issue.

10. What if fertility treatments don't work?

The journey to parenthood is different for everyone. If you and your partner are unable to conceive by what Celzyk refers to as "GOFI" (good old fashioned intercourse), there are many other ways to create your family. Options include egg or sperm donation, surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, and adoption. Be sure to discuss these possibilities and any next steps with your fertility specialist.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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