Male factor infertility as the sole cause of infertility accounts for 40% of infertility cases. This diagnosis is often seen in men who have a varicocele which is an enlarged vein within the left testicle. Male infertility can also occur as a result of trauma or surgery to the testicles. Recent scientific studies have also shown that in some cases of male infertility, there may be a significant genetic component which may be heritable. Despite the above causes, a significant portion of male infertility is unexplained.
Types of Male Testing
There are a variety of tests available to determine male infertility. Our skilled physicians and andrologists are trained in each screening and analysis, ensuring you receive reliable results.
this test is performed by our highly skilled andrologists who perform microscopic evaluation of the sperm using strict guidelines called Kruger Criteria. Since only highly trained certified andrologists can perform this test, we will ask that this test be performed within our Center. Information obtained from the semen analysis for characteristics such as sperm count and shape helps us determine what technique to use to facilitate the sperm fertilizing the egg. These options include timed intercourse, intrauterine insemination, conventional IVF, or IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
this test screens for abnormal particles both in the blood and semen, called antibodies, which may attack and destroy otherwise normal sperm. This test will also be performed by one of our andrologists.
all males who seek care within our facility will undergo HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis blood screening. Since these organisms may be passed through the semen, this is a requirement by the State of Arizona prior to using sperm for insemination or cryopreservation.
Usually recommended based on medical history or previous pregnancy attempts, this is a chromosome analysis which may identify potentially significant abnormalities which prevent fertilization and pregnancy. Subsequent treatment options may include Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis with IVF or the use of donor sperm.
Y Chromosome Deletion Testing:
This test is ordered when sperm concentrations on semen analysis are below a threshold value. In some cases of very low sperm concentrations, structural abnormalities in a portion of the Y chromosome that controls development of sperm in the testicles lead to decreased natural pregnancy rate. Using the advanced reproductive technique of ICSI along with IVF, fertilization can be achieved; however these abnormalities may be passed on to any male offspring.
Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA):
This is a relatively new testing procedure which is implemented in cases of recurrent pregnancy loss and failed fertilization possibly related to male factor infertility. This test analyzes for defects in DNA fragmentation in the sperm. Studies have shown that significant abnormalities predict reduced probability for natural conception. Fortunately,Advanced Fertility Care’s advanced procedures like IVF with ICSI compensate for these decreased statistics. However, even with these advanced techniques, the scientific data to date suggests a pregnancy rate reduced by 66% and a doubling of the spontaneous pregnancy loss rate. Therefore, this test is reserved for certain of our patients suffering from recurrent pregnancy loss or unexpected and otherwise unexplained repeated unsuccessful IVF cycles.
Cystic Fibrosis Genetic Screening:
has been associated with congenital absence of the vas deferens (a key element of the male reproductive tract).