Information for the public

Treatments for men

Low sperm count or poor‑quality sperm

If tests find that your sperm count is low or the sperm are poor quality, you and your partner should continue trying to conceive through regular, unprotected sexual intercourse because it is still possible for you to conceive naturally. After you have been trying for a total of 2 years (this can include 1 year of trying before you had your fertility tests) you may be offered in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Other conditions

If you have a blockage in the flow of sperm from your testicles you may be offered surgery to remove the blockage. Alternatively, you may be offered a procedure called surgical sperm recovery. The sperm that is collected is then used in IVF.

If you are unable to ejaculate, there are treatments that may help you and so improve your fertility. Alternatively, you may be offered surgical sperm recovery and IVF.

If you have low levels of gonadotrophins (hormones that stimulate the production of sperm) you should be offered treatment with gonadotrophin drugs to help improve your fertility.

Treatments you should not be offered

There is not enough evidence that any of the following treatments can improve fertility:

  • surgery for varicose veins in the scrotum (known as varicoceles)

  • antibiotic treatment for white blood cells in your semen

  • steroids for antisperm antibodies

  • treatment with gonadotrophins or other fertility drugs for problems with sperm that have no known cause.

  • Information Standard