Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor will try to improve your fertility by either correcting an underlying problem (if one is found) or trying treatments that seem like they may be helpful. Often, an exact cause of infertility can't be identified. Even if an exact cause isn't clear, your doctor may be able to recommend treatments that work. In all cases of infertility, the female partner also will need to be checked and may need treatment. In some cases, treatment of the female partner may help compensate for male fertility problems.

Treatments for male infertility include:

  • Surgery. For example, a varicocele can often be surgically corrected or an obstructed vas deferens repaired.
  • Treating infections. Antibiotic treatment may cure an infection of the reproductive tract, but doesn't always restore fertility.
  • Treatments for sexual intercourse problems. Medication or counseling can help improve fertility in conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
  • Hormone treatments and medications. Your doctor may recommend hormone replacement or medications in cases where infertility is caused by high or low levels of certain hormones or problems with the way the body uses hormones.
  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART treatments involve obtaining sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction or from donor individuals, depending on your specific case and wishes. The sperm is then inserted into the female genital tract, or used to perform in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

When treatment doesn't work

Sometimes male fertility problems can't be treated, and it's impossible for a man to father a child. Your doctor may suggest that you and your partner consider either using sperm from a donor or adopting a child.

Sep. 15, 2012