While there are many fertility treatments designed to help women with infertility problems, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for male infertility treatments. As a result, couples whose fertility difficulties are due to male factor may have few choices when it comes to deciding on a treatment. So, when the options are limited, what is the most cost effective approach to male infertility?
Men with varicoceles leading to low sperm counts or low sperm motility can often be helped with varicocelectomy surgery. Although somewhat controversial because of its possible negative impact on fertility, this type of surgery has been shown to improve semen analysis results as well as improve a couple’s chances of pregnancy. For this reason, if male factor is the only reason for infertility, and this problem can be successfully corrected through surgery, then this is likely to be a much more cost effective approach.
The cost of varicocelectomy will vary according to where you live and your personal circumstances (for example: how severe the problem is). On average, though, the associated costs should be about $4,000. Once the necessary post-operative restrictions have been observed (including no intercourse for at least a week), couples can try to conceive naturally – free of charge.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
While surgery is helpful for men who have moderate sperm defects, in couples where the male partner has a high level of sperm defects, there are very few options. At least, there were few options until ICSI came along. Since its invention in 1992, couples who previously had little hope of ever having a biological child now can.
Through ICSI, couples have more guarantees that fertilization will take place although there is still limited assurance that implantation will occur once the fertilized eggs are transferred to the woman. While the rates of pregnancy are slightly higher than those of natural conception, the use of ICSI in conjunction with IVF will cost on average $20,000 per cycle. Additionally, as more than one cycle of IVF is often needed before a pregnancy results, this cost is likely to be higher for some individuals.
Two of the least expensive male infertility solutions are varicocele embolization and IUI
. Although the related pregnancy results are not necessarily as high as they would be with other forms of treatment, in couples where the man has a moderate sperm defect, these types of treatment are just as likely to be beneficial as other, more expensive treatments would be.