Are Male Fertility Problems Common?

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: How common is it for a man to have a fertility problem?

Sheldon Marks, MD
most men have no trouble fathering children in their lifetime. But of those that do, of couples that have a hard time conceiving, that present to a fertility doctor, 60 percent of the problems can be related to the female factor, 40 percent to the male. And because male factor fertility can actually be a symptom of something more serious, it's not something to be ignored. Testicular cancer often can present as infertility. Hormonal and metabolic disorders can present as infertility. So when a couple presents to a doctor and is having trouble conceiving, it's really essential that the man go to a urologist, get a separate complete exam, blood test, hormone test to be sure that there's nothing more serious that's going on. And with a lot of the new advances in sperm aspiration and retrieval and the new assisted reproductive technologies, a lot of doctors are just saying, well, it doesn't work, it's not great, but we don't need much, all we need is one sperm now and they bypass the evaluation so that the guys and their potential metabolic or health problems are being ignored.

So, the moral of this story is, if you and your wife are having problems, um --

Sheldon Marks, MD
Conceiving, then absolutely you should be seeing a reproductive specialist on both the female side and a urologist ideally one with reproductive fertility training.