Contemporary Concepts in the Evaluation and Management of Male Fertility

Contemporary concepts in the evaluation and management of male infertility.

Hwang K, Walters RC, Lipshultz LI.

Nat Rev Urol. 2011 Feb;8(2):86-94. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2010.230. Epub 2011 Jan 18. Review.


Infertility in men is a common condition. At the core of the medical evaluation of the male partner in a couple who are unable to conceive is the history and physical examination. Special attention should be directed to the patient’s developmental history and any use of testosterone products. The physical examination focuses on the genitals, and includes assessments of the size and consistency of the testicles, epididymis, vas deferens, and presence of varicoceles. Although many sophisticated tests are available, semen analysis is still the most important diagnostic tool used to assess fertility, and includes parameters such as sperm count, motility and viability. Treatment of male factor infertility can involve targeted agents, in the case of specific conditions such as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, or it can be empirical-using medical therapy or assisted conception techniques-for patients in whom no underlying cause has been identified. Although an all-encompassing treatment for male factor infertility has not yet been developed, the field offers many promising avenues of research