Male Infertility

Dad and Baby

What Is Male Infertility?

About one-half of infertility problems can be caused by male infertility, an umbrella term that covers problems related to making or moving sperm, or the health of your sperm. Men most commonly learn of their fertility problems after experiencing difficulty creating a pregnancy with their partner. If you have been trying to have a baby without success, our specialists can help you understand your options. We diagnose the barriers that may be standing in your way, provide thoughtful counsel and make treatment recommendations. We also facilitate other ways to grow your family that align with your situation. Our goal is to help you achieve success in the shortest time possible but also to make sure you take the time to carefully consider the nuances of your decisions. 

Our team of fertility specialists can evaluate your situation, conduct tests to determine if there is an underlying cause of your infertility, and recommend a range of infertility treatments to help you conceive and have a baby. At the same time, because infertility can cause anxiety and put stress on relationships, our psychologist can help you with this process through consultations, individual and couple support groups, and more.

What Causes Male Infertility?

Many factors can cause infertility in men. You might have irregularities in your hormone balance, how your testicles work, how much sperm you produce, or even the size of your testicles’ veins. Previous urologic conditions or undescended testicles may also be to blame.

Moving sperm through and out the penis may be impacted by a blockage or an ejaculation disorder.

Certain medical conditions such as thyroid diseasetesticular cancer, and depression, and medications used to treat these and other conditions can also cause infertility. Testosterone replacement therapy, sometimes used to treat sexual dysfunction, can impact your fertility. Extended exposure to extreme environmental conditions that include pesticides or radiation can also be to blame.

Infertility Testing

If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, multiple tests will be performed to identify the underlying cause. Your doctor will use this information to recommend the most appropriate treatments for your condition.

Your fertility specialists will complete a full evaluation to identify the causes of your male infertility. We will order a full semen analysis, endocrine profile, and additional testing if necessary. Duke Fertility Center's team includes a board-certified urologist, Karen Baker, MD, who will identify the cause of your male infertility and recommend a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs.


Q & A with Dr. Karen Baker