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Male Infertility

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Male Factor Infertility

There are a few obstacles men can face when trying to conceive with their partner. One is a lack of sperm, called azoospermia, an enlargement of the veins in the testicles, called varicocele, the presence or prevalence of anti-sperm antibodies, and abnormalities related to sperm motility, sperm count, or semen volume, consistency, or pH. In some cases, a previous vasectomy may need reversal.

Azoospermia

Non-obstructive azoospermia means there is no sperm in the semen because the man's body produces abnormal sperm. It's a very common cause of male infertility. If a male partner has non-obstructive azoospermia, which is a very common cause of male infertility, a microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) procedure may be recommended. This will determine:

  • If there is an adequate level of testosterone in sperm test results
  • If the man is still azoospermia even after receiving treatment and his testosterone levels have been normal for at least four months

Approximately 70 percent of the time, we are able to find sperm doing this microTESE procedure.

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san diego couple discussing intrauterine insemination fertiltiy treatment

Varicocele

A dilation of a vein in the scrotum is called varicocele and is akin to a varicose vein. Varicocele causes low sperm count or abnormal sperm morphology (shape). Many men with varicocele are still fertile. A varicocele affects sperm production and shape and could be caused by a higher-than-normal testicle temperature.

Varicocele is surgically treated by cutting the veins connected to the varicocele. This surgery is not recommended for most men because it does not always improve fertility unless there is a large varicocele.

An alternative to varicocele surgery is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) along with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), as ICSI only requires a small number of sperm.

Anti-sperm Antibodies

To fight foreign substances in the body, such as infectious diseases, your immune system produces antibodies that may enter your reproductive system.

While anti-sperm antibodies are not common, both men and women can produce them. Anti-sperm antibodies can make it more difficult for couples to conceive, but it does not make it impossible.

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