When the main problem or a contributing problem to a couple’s infertility is an irreversible male factor concern, IVF is often the answer. In IVF, all we need is a very small number of normal sperm to help make a baby.
A technique called ICSI, which stands for Intra-cytoplasmic sperm microinjection, allows an IVF scientist to gentle inject a single sperm into each egg retrieved from your partner.
In order to find the best sperm, advanced IVF laboratories can use a technique known as IMSI, in which digital ultra high magnification techniques are used to look deep into the sperm and choose sperm using the most advanced and specific criteria.
In order to ensure your and your partner’s best IVF outcomes, you should focus strongly on your diet and lifestyle in the three months leading up to IVF treatment. Even if the main barrier to natural conception is male factor infertility, IVF outcomes are strongly affected by a woman’s age. Seeking the right help sooner rather than later will mean your partner is less likely to need to go through multiple IVF treatments to be successful from the point of view of finding good quality eggs to fertilise with your sperm in the lab.
Apart from IVF, do any other treatments effectively overcome male factor infertility?
For some male factor problems, IUI can help. IUI stands for intrauterine insemination. It is a technique suitable for men with milder cases of male factor infertility where no significant female infertility factors are suspected.
IUI can help overcome mild sperm problems by allowing a lab team to concentrate the sperm and prepare an optimised sample for injection high into a woman’s reproductive tract on the exact day that she ovulates (releases an egg).
This technique is suitable where a couple are unable to have sex naturally because of female vaginismus or problems relating to erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction. This technique can also assist some couples where a man is affected by retrograde ejaculation. If a man has a very low sperm count, very high numbers of abnormal or slow swimming sperm or if anti-sperm antibodies are a concern, IUI would not be recommended.