Experimental methods to preserve male fertility and treat male factor infertility

Fertil Steril. 2016 Feb;105(2):256-66. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.12.020. Epub 2015 Dec 30.


Infertility is a prevalent condition that has insidious impacts on the infertile individuals, their families, and society, which extend far beyond the inability to have a biological child. Lifestyle changes, fertility treatments, and assisted reproductive technology (ART) are available to help many infertile couples achieve their reproductive goals. All of these technologies require that the infertile individual is able to produce at least a small number of functional gametes (eggs or sperm). It is not possible for a person who does not produce gametes to have a biological child. This review focuses on the infertile man and describes several stem cell-based methods and gene therapy approaches that are in the research pipeline and may lead to new fertility treatment options for men with azoospermia.

Keywords: Fertility; azoospermia; culture; de novo testicular morphogenesis; gene therapy; grafting; infertility; stem cells; transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cryopreservation*
  • Fertility Preservation / adverse effects
  • Fertility Preservation / methods*
  • Fertility*
  • Genetic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Male / therapy*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Semen Preservation / adverse effects
  • Semen Preservation / methods*
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testis / physiopathology
  • Testis / transplantation*