Rich-Vaughn-Blog-Male-Infertility

99% of Male Infertility Can Be Treated

The Chicago Tribune recently published an article on “11 Male Infertility Myths Debunked,” citing Fertility Centers of Illinois in a message timed to Men’s Health Month in June.

In the United States approximately 2,000,000 men are diagnosed with infertility problems. About 30 percent of all infertility problems are identified as male-factor infertility, and another 20% is combined male-female factor, writes William D. Petok, Ph.D., of the American Fertility Association Mental Health Advisory Council.

Petok advises men to consider fertility testing sooner rather than later. “Evaluation of male factor fertility parameters is non-invasive and less costly than it is for female factor,” Petok writes. “Ruling out a male factor problem can move the process along and perhaps save a couple valuable time and financial resources.” Home testing as described in a 2012 Baltimore Sun article can be an easy, inexpensive way to determine whether low sperm count is an issue, although it does not measure other factors such as sperm shape and size and sperm motility.

The good news is that almost 99% of male infertility cases can be resolved with a combination of lifestyle changes and medical techniques.

Lifestyle changes are naturally the easiest solutions to implement. For example, statistics show that smoking can increase male infertility by as much as 30 percent. Up to 13 percent of cases of male infertility may be the result of smoking, and even as few as five cigarettes a day can negatively impact fertility.

Being overweight and eating foods high in fat are also risk factors for infertility. According to some sources, eating a high-fat diet can decrease sperm count. In addition, overweight men often experience a decreased libido as well as decreased testosterone resulting from increased estrogen. Likewise, extreme heat, such as from hot tub use, and long hours of cycling can contribute to diminished fertility in men.

There is good news for men suffering infertility, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report:

Male-factor infertility used to be a much bigger challenge. Now, only one percent of cases can't be resolved—but it’s a diagnosis that is often suffered in silence due to stigma, and many men don't or are reluctant to seek treatment as a result.

Thanks to medical advances, today’s best practices are centered on in-vitro fertilization (IVF) combined with intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI. ICSI is used when male-factor infertility is preventing egg fertilization. Men with contributing medical conditions such as diabetes, low sperm count, varicocele (swelling of veins in the testicle), and infections can be helped with ICSI.

For men diagnosed as sterile, there is a new sperm retrieval technique called microdissection testicular sperm extraction, or Micro TESE. This procedure involves harvesting sperm directly from the man’s testicles. An incision is made in the scrotum through which the surgeon is able to magnify the testicular tissue to 20x. The magnification allows the surgeon to identify areas that are most likely to contain sperm, excise the tissue in these areas and harvest the sperm. The chance of finding sperm through the Micro TESE procedure is greater than 60 percent, twice the success rate of non-micro surgery or needle biopsies.

Men often are reluctant to seek treatment for infertility due to embarrassment, The Wall Street Journal writes. The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada urges men who are experiencing infertility not to delay treatment as male fertility may diminish with age.

The American Fertility Association offers a great library of information about male infertility, available free at http://www.theafa.org/library/male-infertility/male-infertility/.

Rich Vaughn
Richard Vaughn
rich@iflg.net

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
PEIYA WANG(王培娅)
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Technologies and Business University, where she majored in Marketing. She moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeast University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa
LUIS SOSA
Paralegal

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes
TONI HUGES
Paralegal

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”

Miesha Cowart
MIESHA COWART
Financial Coordinator

Miesha Cowart joined IFLG as a financial specialist in 2014 following a successful career in development and business finance. Miesha previously worked for 10 years in the construction industry as a controller and for 13 years as Development Coordinator for the non-profit U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In her free time, Miesha works with “Next Generation” at her church. “They are my heartbeats!” she says of the youth in her community.

Kim
KIM DEVEREAUX
Paralegal

Kim has over 25 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager of surrogacy and egg donation cases, and is also responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn
RICHARD B. VAUGHN
Founder

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, thoughtful and compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law. He is immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, which develops model legislation governing assisted reproductive services, and is a popular presenter to law students, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo
ELIZABETH TAMAYO
Paralegal

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Tania Steele
TANIA STEELE
Legal Assistant

Tania Steele joined IFLG as a legal assistant in early 2016 and has since been immersed in the complexities of assisted reproductive technology law. Tania received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Chapman University in Orange, California, and a graduate degree from University of Leicester in England, where she pursued an interest in art. In 2013, she accepted a volunteer position at Legal Aid Society of Orange County, where she helped with the intake of new clients and was inspired to obtain a paralegal certificate from Fullerton College. As an undergraduate, Tania lived in Italy and studied the Italian language. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian and enjoys assisting as a translator for many of IFLG’s international clients. Outside of the office, Tania enjoys concerts, films, reading and travel.

Linda Garrett
LINDA GARRETT
Legal Assistant

Linda Garrett graduated in 2010 from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a major in Sociology. Shortly after, she enrolled in a paralegal course at West Los Angeles College, where she fell in love with the field. In 2017, she earned her paralegal degree and joined International Fertility Law Group as a Legal Assistant. In her free time, Linda enjoys outdoor adventures and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Sunny Chien
SUNNY CHIEN
Paralegal

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.