Infertility is the inability to achieve pregnancy after trying to conceive for at least 1 year. Infertility can affect both men and women and can have a number of different causes. Male infertility diagnosis usually involves evaluating the couple's reproductive-fertility history and performing a physical exam and laboratory tests, such as semen analysis.

Male infertility risk factors and causes include certain medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, kidney disease), hormonal disorders (e.g., testosterone deficiency), reproductive tract obstructions, injuries that result in reproductive system damage, sexual dysfunction (e.g., impotence), and medications (e.g., chemotherapy) that affect the sperm (male sex cells). Causes for male infertility may be congenital (present at birth) or may develop later (acquired).

Here are some questions to ask your doctor (e.g., urologist, fertility specialist) about infertility and male infertility treatment. Print this page, check the questions you would like answered, and bring it with you to your next appointment. Infertility treatments, such as assisted reproduction (e.g., IVF), drug therapy, and surgery, can make conception possible for about 50 percent of men who are infertile.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Male Infertility

  • What are the common causes for male infertility?
  • What do you suspect is the cause for my infertility?
  • What does male infertility diagnosis involve?
  • What types of diagnostic tests will be used to determine the underlying cause?
  • About how long will this process take?
  • What do male infertility tests involve?
  • How should I prepare for these tests?
  • When will the test results be available?
  • Should I call for the results or will someone contact me?
    Telephone number to call:
  • Who will discuss the test results with me?
  • Do you recommend that my partner also undergo fertility testing? Why or why not?
  • If so, what might this testing involve?
  • Is my infertility the result of a congenital condition or an acquired condition?
  • Might my fertility change over time with or without treatment?
  • Is the cause for my infertility treatable?
  • If so, what might male infertility treatment involve?
  • Might assisted reproduction, drug therapy, and/or surgery for male infertility be recommended? If so, what do these treatments involve?
  • Without treatment, what are the chances that my partner and I will be able to conceive?
  • With treatment, what are the chances that my partner and I will be able to conceive?
  • Might lifestyle changes be beneficial? Why or why not?
  • If so, what lifestyle changes do you recommend?
  • What type of male infertility treatment do you recommend?
  • Why do you recommend this treatment?
  • What are the benefits, disadvantages, and possible risks of this fertility treatment?
  • What is the pregnancy success rate following this treatment?
  • What is the live birth rate following this treatment?
  • If this treatment is not successful, what other types of treatment are available?
  • Do you recommend complementary and alternative treatments for infertility? Why or why not?
  • If so, what do these treatments involve?
  • What is the usual cost for infertility treatment?
  • Are these costs usually covered by insurance?
  • If not, what types of payment plans are available?
  • Can male infertility be prevented? If so, what does infertility prevention involve?
  • Can you recommend a local or online support group or a counselor who specializes in male infertility?
  • Can you recommend additional sources for information about male infertility?
  • Next appointment:
    Physician/Specialist: Date: Time:

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 21 Jun 2009

Last Modified: 24 Sep 2015