Male infertility is caused by a number of conditions or factors and may include:
A semen analysis is generally the first male infertility test performed during a couple’s fertility assessment at Fertility & Genetics. Semen is the fluid released during male ejaculation. This fluid contains and carries the sperm cells required for reproduction. It’s best to have a semen analysis done twice, a few weeks apart for the most accurate results because the same man can have different results at different times.
A semen analysis can identify several issues, including:
Hormones also control sperm production. Your fertility specialist may recommend a simple infertility hormonal testing procedure. This involves measuring the levels of testosterone, FSH, and LH in your blood. High or low levels of any of these hormones can have significant effects on sperm production and a man’s ability to have sex.
The most common identifiable cause of infertility in men is varicocele. This is a condition in which enlarged veins in the scrotum interfere with proper temperature and hormonal regulation of the testicular tissue. These veins normally circulate blood away from the testicles, thus performing a cooling function. When there is a partial vein blockage, blood circulation decreases and the temperature of the testicular tissue increases.
Treatment varies depending on the condition causing infertility. A varicocele, for instance, can be treated surgically by a urologist. Varicocele repair has been reported to improve spermatogenesis in 50-80% of patients, and as many as 30-40% initiate a pregnancy after the procedure.
Other treatments may include testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) or microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA). During these procedures, healthy sperm are collected and introduced to the donor egg through various forms of artificial insemination.
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