Male Reproductive & Sexual Health

Compassionate care for men’s reproductive and sexual health needs

Expert Male Reproductive & Sexual Health Care

About 30% of American men suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction. Urologists at Beth Israel Deaconess—Needham treat a wide variety of male sexual health issues. You can trust our experts to help you manage your condition with experience and compassion.

Common Conditions We Treat

Get details on two of the most common conditions our men’s health specialists treat: male infertility and erectile dysfunction.

Male Infertility

Around 15% of couples in the United States are infertile — meaning they are unable to conceive even though they have been having unprotected sexual intercourse for more than a year. Half of these infertility cases are due to a male factor.

Male infertility results from problems with:

  • Blockage in the reproductive tract
  • Sperm number
  • Sperm quality

Illness, injury, chronic health issues, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in male infertility.

Male Infertility Risk Factors
  • Certain endocrine disorders
  • Chemotherapy
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals, such as lead or cadmium
  • Genetics
  • History of undescended testicles
  • Malnutrition
  • Overheating of the testicles, such as varicocele (enlargement of the veins in the scrotum) or chronic hot tub use
  • Past infections, including:
    • Mumps
    • Prostatitis
    • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Radiation treatment
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Tobacco and drug use
Diagnosis & Treatment of Male Infertility

Your urologist may use one or more of these tests to diagnose infertility in men:

  • Biopsy (removal of a small tissue sample) of the testis
  • Blood tests that check for levels of reproductive hormones and testosterone
  • Semen analysis, including sperm number, shape and movement
  • Ultrasound of the scrotum or prostate

Treatment for male infertility largely depends on the cause of the condition and may include a variety of options:

  • Assisted reproductive technologies (sperm retrieval coordinated with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, for the female partner)
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medication to correct hormone balance or improve sperm number and quality
  • Surgical treatment includes several options:
    • Varicocele repair
    • Sperm aspiration
    • Testicular sperm extraction
    • Reconstruction such as epididymovasostomy

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) — also called impotence — is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sex. ED occurs when not enough blood flows to the penis, preventing an erection. This condition affects nearly 30 million men.

Causes of ED

Studies have shown that most cases of ED are caused by physical health problems. In this way, ED is a symptom of an underlying condition such as diseases that affect blood flow, psychological factors, chronic diseases and certain medications.

ED can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Medication side effects
  • Neurological problems
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Psychological issues, such as depression or performance anxiety
Diagnosis & Treatment of ED

There are no formal tests to diagnose ED. However, your urologist can use one of these tests to determine the underlying cause:

  • Blood tests for testosterone, diabetes and cardiovascular health
  • Duplex ultrasound to evaluate blood flow and signs of atherosclerosis

Depending on the cause of your ED, your overall health and other factors, your urologist may recommend one or a combination of these ED treatments:

  • Exercise and weight loss, especially aerobic exercise
  • Hormone replacement if testosterone is very low
  • Oral pills
  • Penile implant surgery
  • Penile revascularization surgery
  • Pumps that draw blood into the penis prior to sex
  • Sex therapy or counseling to alleviate stress and other psychological issues

Make an Appointment

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Services & Specialties

We offer these and other services to support your urological needs.