Advances in Male Infertility Treatments

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: What advances are being made in male infertility?

Sheldon Marks, MD
There are some amazing advances in male fertility, as it relates to diagnostics we can now diagnose men and understand why they're not producing sperm and the quality or numbers. We also have advances in surgical techniques as well as advances in medications that we can use to boost fertility. For example, we know, that if you give an adult male testosterone replacement therapy, the body senses that there's plenty on board and shuts down the natural testosterone production, and in so doing usually zeroes out or drops the sperm count dramatically. So men who are on testosterone replacement become sterile, which is where they're looking for birth control advances in men. What we found is that there's certain medications we can give men that will boost the testosterone level and sperm production just within the testicle without all the systemic side effects.

What are they?

Sheldon Marks, MD
Clomid is an older one, an interesting category are the aromatase inhibitors which are used in women with breast cancer, and we found that if we gave a man certain amounts of that medication in a controlled fashion over a period of time, we could actually potentially boost sperm production as well and alter the balance of testosterone-estrogen in favor of more fertility.