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Male Testing

General Information:

  • Male factor infertility is present in up to 40% of infertile couples
  • It takes 72 days for a sperm cell to mature and become a part of an ejaculate. Different diseases, toxins, and vitamin deficiencies present 72 days ago will affect today's ejaculate.
  • Prior surgery, like hernia repair or trauma to the testis, should be considered and investigated.
  • Approximately 20% of the time sperm deficiencies are due to endocrine abnormalities, such as low testosterone. Other causes are genetic abnormalities, high prolactin hormone levels, or previous chemotherapy or radiation.
  • A varicocele is a dilation of the major veins of the testicle, which may increase testicular temperature and lower sperm count leading to male infertility. Repair of a varicocele may improve sperm quality in approximately 50% of the patients but improvement may not be seen for 6 months. A varicocele can be detected with scrotal ultrasound.
  • Certain medications can be toxic to sperm like narcotics, steroids, heat, alcohol, marijuana (both alcohol and marijuana reduce testosterone), or tobacco use. Prolonged hot tub use can damage sperm.
  • Certain infections can impair the sperm's ability to penetrate the egg leading to infertility. Diseases including diabetes, mumps, and recent fever can also impair sperm. 10. Men without sperm in their ejaculate can have an obstruction of the duct leading from the testis, or a problem with testicular production of sperm.
  • Smoking can increase reactive oxygen species and decrease fertilization by 50%.
  • Heavy smokers have increased cadmium toxicity in the testis.
  • Zinc modulates cadmium toxicity and improves sperm motility and morphology.
  • Vitamin C and E are natural antioxidants and improve sperm motility and concentration.
  • Selenium increases sperm concentration.
  • L-Carnitine supports the energy usage of sperm and may work as an antioxidant.
  • Protein in the diet is essential for sperm production.
  • Many forms of male infertility can be treated, once the etiology (cause) is known.
  • IUI is performed when the male has more than 5million sperm and is done by washing the sperm, concentrating it, and placing it inside the uterus using a small catheter.
  • The sperm count becomes a non-issue if the couple has progressed to IVF.
  • Just a handful of life sperm cells are sufficient to achieve fertilization and pregnancy using ICSI.