Male infertility generally requires an assessment at an advanced IVF centre to determine the best treatment approach. Being that the condition disguises itself at times with female infertility, total expertise and experience is required. In case immediate of the simple treatment approaches fail, then advanced treatments are necessary.
Diagnosing Male Factor Infertility- What An Assessment Involves
Normally, failure to help a woman conceive requires a couple to consult a fertility expert. In case female infertility is ruled out, a semen analysis is required. A sample of the man’s semen will be obtained and this is through having protected sex. The sample will be provided and thoroughly examined in the laboratory. An assessment of male infertility will generally look at the following;
- Sperm Volume- the quantity of the semen
- Sperm Motility- the sperm’s movement
- Sperm Morphology- the shape and size of the sperm
- Sperm Appearance- any underlying abnormalities
- Sperm Concentration- the actual number of sperm cells per semen sample
Blood work may also be required to check a man’s hormone levels or rule out any genetic condition.
The final results of the blood work and the semen analysis will help determine the best-advanced treatment approach.
Notable Causes of Male Factor Infertility
Generally, male infertility revolves around sperms. Possible issues may be;
- Low sperm count
- Sperm abnormalities
- No sperm at all due to production or transportation issues
- High semen volume- this is in case the sperm is diluted
- Poor movement
Solutions to the Sperm Issues in case Diagnosed
Male infertility is common and in case diagnosed with any sperm problem, you must believe that you are not alone. Fertility experts at the advanced IVF centre will stand with you and suggest the most effective treatment to eliminate the problem at the lowest cost possible.
Advanced male infertility problems are commonly surgically resolved, meaning that a patient will undergo a surgery to collect the semen.
Common Semen Collection Surgical Approaches Include;
Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA)- During this procedure, a fluid inside the testicle is harvested by penetrating the skin of the scrotum with a needle attached to a syringe. Similar to this surgical technique is a procedure that involves a Perc Biopsy. With this, a larger needle is used to extract a large number of sperms and a biopsy of testicular tissue.
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)- With this approach, a needle is attached to a syringe and it is introduced directly into the epididymis to extract the semen.
Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA)- This approach requires a fertility expert to utilize an operating microscope to locate the tubules of the epididymis effectively in order to collect a large number of sperms.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)- This procedure requires a surgeon to make a small incision in the testis and the tubules are evaluated for the presence of sperms.
Microdissection TESE- Men with sperm production problems commonly undergo this procedure to collect enough sperms for the IVF process.
How Are the Retrieved Sperms Used?
There are generally three approaches of using the surgically collected sperms in IVF centres and these include;
- IUI (Intrauterine Insemination): This is a precise procedure of ART and only requires a fertility expert to introduce the retrieved sperms into the woman’s body via her vagina. The procedure is performed using a catheter.
- IVF (In Vitro Fertilization): The IVF procedure requires the retrieved sperms to be combined with the woman’s eggs to form an embryo. The developing embryo is later on transferred to the woman’s womb for development. The procedure can also be conducted with IMSI, where sperms are initially sorted.
- ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection): This advanced treatment requires a fertility expert to inject a single sperm in the egg for fertilization to occur. It is commonly conducted in the case of low sperm count, poor motility, and quality.