Most cases of male infertility are related to the quality or quantity of sperm in ejaculated semen. According to the most recent references from the World Health Organization, 15 million sperm per millilitre, or less than 40 million sperm total per ejaculate, is considered below the normal range.
Poor sperm quality might also hinder fertilisation, such that sperm cells might be insufficiently motile to swim along the reproductive tract to meet an egg released at ovulation. Some men might produce no sperm cells in the ejaculate, a condition known as azoospermia.
Male fertility is tested by semen analysis, which tests sperm count, sperm motility and shape. A normal sperm count would be measured at around 20 million sperm per millilitre of semen. There are many reasons for a below normal sperm count, which investigation would hope to explain.
Treatment for male infertility
ICSI can help men with low quality or quantity sperm by extracting just a few sperm cells from the testis for injection into the egg. Fertilisation is generally around 90%, so many clinics use ICSI to guarantee fertilisation. There are rare cases of male infertility in which normal sperm production or sperm ejaculation is prevented by an obstruction in the complicated tubal system of the testes. A surgical sperm retrieval process can help retrieve sperm from the testes to be used for ICSI treatment.