Infertility affects both men and women equally.
It's a fact that bears repeating because there is a common assumption that infertility in a heterosexual couple is solely a female-partner issue.
The reality is that just about half of all infertility cases stem from male-factor infertility. This statistic is undeniable, and for this reason we know that male infertility testing is crucial in order to be sure every couple's treatment is as effective as possible upon the start of care.
about our program
The Male Infertility Program at Boston IVF is the most comprehensive of its kind, with cutting-edge technologies that identify all causes of infertility.
Led by Dr. Stephen Lazarou, our program is internationally recognized, as is our network of local and national Boston IVF experts. We successfully diagnose thousands of male infertility cases each year and regularly develop customized treatment plans that lead to successful outcomes.
Our male fertility experts and andrology laboratory makes testing and analysis easier, more accurate, and less time-consuming for our patients. Equipped with the latest diagnostic technology and operated by a specially trained staff, our laboratory and team provide convenient, accurate results.
male infertility causes
There may be no signs of infertility in some men, and slight to moderate indications in others. That's why it is necessary to seek the care of an expert to help diagnose the issue and find a solution to your fertility problems as soon as possible. Common causes of male factor infertility include:
- erectile dysfunction
- ejaculation problems (no sperm or premature)
- azoospermia: no sperm resulting from physical obstruction of the ducts in the testicles
- varicocele: a collection of varicose-like veins above the testicle
- physical trauma to the testes
- undescended testicles
- chemotherapy for cancer
- hormone imbalances
- age-related infertility
- genetic abnormalities
- poor nutrition
- sexually transmitted diseases
- use of recreational drugs
Our team possesses the experience and science to swiftly identify the source of any male-factor infertility issues that may be present.
Our male infertility workup includes an in-depth look at the male partner’s medical history, a physical exam, and a Semen Analysis test. Because male factor infertility has an impact on half of all fertility cases, the analysis of a semen sample provides critical information for treating male infertility.
The semen analysis is scheduled shortly after an initial consultation.
After a fresh semen sample is collected via masturbation at home or at one of our Boston IVF collection locations, our laboratory staff will microscopically analyze the following:
Indicates how many milliliters of semen is produced. Low volumes can indicate a blockage or dysfunction in the seminal vesicles or prostate. Volume should be more than 2 ml.
Shows how many moving sperm are present. This aspect is vital to enabling the sperm unites with the egg in the Fallopian tube. Typically, 50% or more of sperm should be motile.
Refers to the shape of the sperm. Although the vast majority of sperm have abnormal shapes, if over 50% are abnormally shaped, male fertility is affected.
Indicates how many million sperm cells per milliliter are produced. Lower numbers may indicate that sperm is being blocked from coming out, or that the testicles are not producing sperm properly.
Sperm color can indicate the presence of blood or a side-effect of medication.
male hormone testing
In some situations, we may perform a blood test to check for hormonal imbalances or genetic conditions. These causes are less common than others. Therefore, testing is not always performed unless there are other underlying factors.
At Boston IVF, we rely on comprehensive fertility testing and analysis to diagnose male infertility.
If we discover a concern within semen analysis testing that may hinder pregnancy, there are several options we may recommend for treatment, including:
A first-line office procedure which involves the placing of sperm (utilizing a thin catheter) inside a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating, to help facilitate fertilization
The joining of a woman's egg and a man's sperm in a laboratory dish. In-vitro means "outside the body". Embryos are placed into the woman's womb 3 - 5 days after egg retrieval and fertilization
A single, healthy sperm is injected into the egg to help with fertilization during IVF.
Because a varicocele rarely produces symptoms, it is not uncommon for a man not to be aware of it unless it causes problems with fertility. Surgical treatment redirects the blood flow toward normal veins. Surgery is done on an outpatient basis.
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) is a simple technique to obtain sperm for Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). This procedure analyzes sperm content and motility.
Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) is a procedure involves microsurgical techniques to remove small samples of epididymal tissue in effort to extract sperm from the tissue.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) or testicular biopsy, is a procedure that involves a small surgical incision in the testis, aiming to remove small samples of testis tissue for processing and eventual extraction of sperm.