The London Women's Clinic

Male infertility

A sperm count of 20 million is considered normal 

Infertility

Male infertility

Male infertility

Almost all causes of male infertility are usually related to sperm disorders - either too few in number or of inadequate quality. It's for this reason that one of the first investigations of the infertile couple is a semen analysis laboratory test. The male, unlike the female, is constantly renewing his supply of germ cells, and a single ejaculate of semen may contain as many as 200 million individual sperm cells. A sperm count of 20 million per millilitre semen is considered normal for fertilisation. The sample should also show that more than half the sperm cells are motile, and around one-third of normal shape.


Common male infertility problems

Although male infertility is commonly associated with impotence, many infertile men have perfectly normal sexual relationships.

Indeed, the most common causes are low sperm counts and in rarer cases semen samples which contain no motile sperm cells (a condition known as azoospermia). Smoking, excessive use of alcohol and obesity have all been linked to poor sperm counts, but the link is not definitive.

Please try our fertility questionnaire to see whether you should seek help.

Assisted reproduction techniques for male infertility

Since it was introduced in the mid-1990s, intacytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has revolutionised the treatment of male infertility. The technique injects a single sperm cell into an egg, with a fertilisation rate of more than 90%. Indeed, even in cases of azoospermia at least one sperm cell can usually be retrieved surgically from the testes or microtubes to provide a good chance of conception. Formerly, men with severe sperm problems had very little chance of fathering their own children; now ICSI provides a realistic chance to even the most severe cases.

Counselling

Counselling is available to all of our patients and can be arranged for individuals or couples. The HFEA considers counselling to be a key element in the provision of infertility services, and has made 'implication counselling' a requirement in the case of sperm or egg donation. We offer support counselling at all times and the first session is offered free of charge. 

Infertility

Male infertility

Male infertility

Almost all causes of male infertility are usually related to sperm disorders - either too few in number or of inadequate quality. It's for this reason that one of the first investigations of the infertile couple is a semen analysis laboratory test. The male, unlike the female, is constantly renewing his supply of germ cells, and a single ejaculate of semen may contain as many as 200 million individual sperm cells. A sperm count of 20 million per millilitre semen is considered normal for fertilisation. The sample should also show that more than half the sperm cells are motile, and around one-third of normal shape.


Common male infertility problems

Although male infertility is commonly associated with impotence, many infertile men have perfectly normal sexual relationships.

Indeed, the most common causes are low sperm counts and in rarer cases semen samples which contain no motile sperm cells (a condition known as azoospermia). Smoking, excessive use of alcohol and obesity have all been linked to poor sperm counts, but the link is not definitive.

Please try our fertility questionnaire to see whether you should seek help.

Assisted reproduction techniques for male infertility

Since it was introduced in the mid-1990s, intacytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has revolutionised the treatment of male infertility. The technique injects a single sperm cell into an egg, with a fertilisation rate of more than 90%. Indeed, even in cases of azoospermia at least one sperm cell can usually be retrieved surgically from the testes or microtubes to provide a good chance of conception. Formerly, men with severe sperm problems had very little chance of fathering their own children; now ICSI provides a realistic chance to even the most severe cases.

Counselling

Counselling is available to all of our patients and can be arranged for individuals or couples. The HFEA considers counselling to be a key element in the provision of infertility services, and has made 'implication counselling' a requirement in the case of sperm or egg donation. We offer support counselling at all times and the first session is offered free of charge. 

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