Male Infertility
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500


Male Infertility and ICSI

It is believed that approximately 10% to 15% of all men are born with some degree of male infertility, and approximately one-third of the time, a couple’s infertility can be solely attributed to male factor infertility.

Reproductive Health
There is mounting evidence that environmental factors have a significant impact on male reproductive health. Please review the Lifestyle and Reproductive Health page and follow the recommendations as closely as possible.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Most infertile men produce sperm, yet may not be able to cause a pregnancy through intercourse or artificial insemination.

In recent years, the prospect of being able to conceive one’s genetic child has increased considerably for men with male factor infertility. In situations where patients had to use a sperm donor in the past, we will now almost always be able to use the partner’s sperm to fertilize the eggs.

We can overcome all but the most severe forms of male infertility with In Vitro Fertilization and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), but typically male fertility potential cannot be increased by taking medications or surgically (i.e., removal of a varicocele).

Advanced Male Infertility Treatments
Selection of the most appropriate treatment depends on the male partner’s reproductive history and the degree of his infertility. The following treatment modalities are commonly used for couples with male factor infertility:


Some men will require testicular sperm aspiration (i.e., a congenital block of vas deference, previous vasectomy), and some couples with the most severe degree of male infertility will need artificial insemination with donor semen.

Total Motile Count
If the male partner has caused one or more pregnancies, you can use the following formula as a rough guide of the need for ICSI.

Calculate your Total Motile Count - TMC (semen volume x sperm count x percent of motile sperm divided by 100) per ejaculate in ALL semen analyses you had. For example: Volume = 3.2 ml, Sperm concentration = 30 million/ml, Total motility = 30%
3.2 x 30 x 30/100 = 28.8 (TMC in millions).

  • In Vitro Fertilization and Soft-IVF

    IVF and Soft-IVF can be used for moderately severe degrees of male infertility. If your TMC is less than 5 million motile sperm in any of your semen analyses, ICSI procedure will be needed.

  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

    ICSI has allowed infertile men, who would not have been able to cause a pregnancy in the past, to father children. ICSI does not have any TMC requirement and can be used even if there are only occasional sperm found in a semen sample. ICSI is also used for men with unproven fertility (never sired a pregnancy) and for couples with unexplained infertility.



    In the ICSI procedure, a single live sperm is inserted directly into the center of an egg. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection requires a high degree of expertise and is performed with a special microscope and micromanipulators.

    ICSI has been used extensively in Advanced Reproductive Treatments since 1993, and tens of thousands of babies have been born worldwide using ICSI.

Please use the following links to learn more about IVF and Soft-IVF treatments.


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