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Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected, adequately timed intercourse.
Approximately 15% - 20% of all couples are infertile. The difficulties are attributable to a significant male factor alone in 30-40% of couples and to a combination of male and female factors in an additional 20%.
Couples should seek
evaluation for infertility
if they have been trying
to conceive for one year,
though many seek help
earlier based on age
or if they have any
concerns about their
fertility potential.
The best way to achieve pregnancy and parenthood is to optimize both female and male factors. Thus, both partners should be evaluated early so that any issues can be addressed simultaneously.
In >50% of all infertile couples, an abnormal male factor contributes to reproductive difficulty. This means that well over 2.5 million men would benefit from a fertility evaluation.
Men with infertility, especially with semen abnormalities, are at risk for multiple medical conditions and malignancies. Thus, all infertile men should undergo a careful, fertility-specific evaluation and physical examination.
- absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
- zero volume ejaculate.
- low numbers of sperm.
- poor sperm motility.
- abnormal morphology (shape) of sperm.

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