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Iowa City IA 52242
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Release: Jan. 21, 2000

UI Hospitals and Clinics offers expert male infertility care

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Wanting to have children but being unable to conceive is a frustrating situation for many couples. Male partners' problems account for nearly 50 percent of couples' fertility difficulties.

Fortunately, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics recognizes the need to provide top-notch medical help for male fertility problems. It is the only medical center in the state to offer a male fertility clinic staffed by a fellowship-trained male infertility expert.

Jay Sandlow, M.D., UI assistant professor of urology, runs the UI Male Fertility Clinic. In addition to completing a urology residency program at the UI, Sandlow spent two years focused exclusively on learning about male infertility and microsurgical techniques. His goal now is to help as many people as he can to overcome their fertility problems so that they may fulfill their dreams of becoming parents.

"When patients send me pictures of their children, it is a big deal to me," Sandlow said.

Sandlow sees between 60 and 75 patients for fertility problems each month, more than most urologists see in a year. Because he specializes in male infertility, he is able to keep up with the latest advances in the area and offer the best possible treatment options.

"It is one of those things that the more you see and the more you do, the better you are," said Sandlow, noting that some physicians still use outdated treatments. "This is a field that is experiencing constant advancements, and at the UI, we are equipped to keep up with these changes."

Another area that urologists unfamiliar with fertility issues often overlook is the counseling required. Sandlow makes sure that his patients are aware of all the issues involved.

"I want people to understand as much as they possibly can," he said. "Then, I let the patients make their own decisions."

The UI Hospitals and Clinics offers various male fertility services, including surgeries such as vasectomy reversals with sperm retrieval and varicocele repair, or repair of varicose veins around the testicles. In addition, the UI Hospitals and Clinics urology staff performs vasectomies.

To make it more convenient for patients, the Male Fertility Clinic offers an evening clinic once a month.

Sandlow and others in the Male Fertility Clinic work closely with the UI's female fertility specialists, as well as the Reproductive Testing laboratory personnel. They have meetings on a weekly basis to talk about patients and how to best treat the couples.

"There is not another program in the region that has this type of coordination," Sandlow said.

Each male infertility case starts with an initial clinic visit. Sperm is collected and analyzed, even if the patient has had a sperm count done elsewhere. The patient also receives a physical examination and a medical history is taken. Depending upon what the work-up reveals, the patient may require surgery, medicinal treatments or referral to an in vitro fertilization specialist.

"We handle each patient individually rather than giving blanket recommendations," Sandlow said.

To learn more about the UI Male Fertility Clinic, visit the clinic's website at, call the clinic staff at 319-353-7035, or e-mail Sandlow at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.