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Men’s Health Month: How Do You Know if You Need a RE or a Urologist for Male Factor Infertility?

Fertility doctors often consult with urologists on male factor cases

As fertility specialists, we treat all aspects of infertility including male infertility. However, in many cases, this requires us to work in conjunction with another medical specialist who has a different medical skill set to ours—a urologist.

A urologist is a medical specialist with training in treating the kidney, bladder and the male reproductive tract, with some having specialized in treating male infertility.

When a patient is referred by us to a urologist for evaluation of male factor infertility, the urologist may treat patients with medications (both oral and injectables), surgical correction or surgical extraction of sperm.

With the help of our urology colleagues lending their expertise, fertility specialists are then able to coordinate treatment of the female (wife, partner, or gestational carrier once an embryo is created) to help them to conceive, either while the male is actively being treated, or once treatment is complete.  

Depending on your specific medical details, your fertility doctor may explain that indicated IUI (Intrauterine Insemination),IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) or another form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), in cases of male factor infertility, to achieve a healthy, live birth.

In other cases, however, treatment may be more involved and require extracting sperm directly from the testicle or epididymis (within the male reproductive tract), which then necessitates IVF in order for the sperm to fertilize the egg. In this situation, a coordinated effort between the urologist (to extract the sperm) and the reproductive endocrinologist (to perform the IVF procedure) is required.

As in many specialized areas of medicine, collaboration between medical professionals may be needed to optimize your care for the best outcome. As your fertility specialist, I am here to discuss whether a referral to a urologist is right for you or your partner as you try to conceive.

 

Author
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

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