Specialty Services Offer Solutions for Male Infertility

Urologist Collaborates with Fertility Center to Help Couples Conceive

Jeanne H. O'Brien, M.D.

Jeanne H. O'Brien, M.D.

While infertility treatment is often focused on women, male infertility may be a contributing factor for half of the four million infertile couples in the U.S. Physicians at URMC’s Strong Fertility Center and Department of Urology collaborate to identify and address male infertility problems, resulting in improved pregnancy rates.

Factors contributing to male infertility include environmental, lifestyle, pharmacologic or anatomic issues, according to urologist Jeanne H. O’Brien, M.D., who specializes in male fertility. Disease, injuries, chronic health problems, and other factors may also play a role.

Men referred to O’Brien undergo a detailed medical history and physical examination, as well as semen and hormonal analysis. If necessary, physicians also perform genetic counseling and evaluation and conduct specialized sperm function tests and testis procedures. O’Brien works in close association with the Strong Fertility Center to improve sperm parameters for medical enhancement of fertility, including intrauterine insemination therapies. When medical, pharmacologic and lifestyle changes are ineffective, URMC physicians may recommend specialized surgical solutions.

O’Brien is the only physician in the region to offer some of these specialized surgeries, such as vasectomy reversals and microsurgical varicocelectomy, a surgical treatment for varicoceles, the most common cause of male infertility. She is also the only area physician who performs surgical sperm retrieval procedures such as microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA), percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA), and testicular biopsies in the case of an obstruction. These procedures are used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization at the Strong Fertility Center to produce excellent fertility outcomes.

About Strong Fertility Center

Specialists at the Strong Fertility Center combine expertise with compassionate, comprehensive care, helping couples realize the joy of creating the families they desire.

Strong Fertility Center is home to the longest-standing in vitro fertilization program in upstate New York. The Center’s medical team is highly experienced and subspecialty certified in reproductive endocrinology. They offer the latest treatments, including minimally invasive robotic surgery and fertility preservation during cancer treatment, and are actively involved in research to identify new treatments.

From accurate diagnosis of the causes of infertility, to a variety of treatment options, the Center offers hope to many couples.

“There are a variety of simple procedures that can improve male fertility, many of which can be done in an outpatient setting,” said O’Brien. “These procedures are often associated with excellent outcomes. For example, vasectomy reversals result in up to 95 percent of men producing sperm in a quantity acceptable to conceive naturally.”

The success and pregnancy rates for these surgical procedures often exceed the national average. Patients treated at URMC have experienced:

  • A 47 percent per-cycle pregnancy rate for sperm retrievals in the setting of in vitro fertilization
  • Intrauterine insemination pregnancy rates that approach 20 percent per cycle with enhanced sperm recoveries and simultaneous treatment of the female partner.

“The Strong Fertility Center’s comprehensive approach to male and female infertility is unique to the region and translates to not only excellent outcomes, but also a better experience for couples,” said Rajesh Srivastava, Ph.D., the Center’s laboratory director. “Dr. O'Brien is an accomplished surgeon whose expertise expands options for our patients, especially since she is the only urologist in our region who can do MESA and PESA.”

For more information


University Urology
(585) 341-7777

Strong Fertility Center
(585) 487-3378


Arianna Joseph-Parris
Phone: (585) 507-5480

Strong Consult and Transfer Center

Toll-free (800) 499-9298
(585) 275-4999