Male- factor infertility
Did you know that 1/3 of infertility cases are related to the man? During your fertility assessment, the Anova team will use the most cutting-edge technologies to identify if there are any underlying issues to consider when making a treatment plan.
The good news? Since sperm are continually created by men (unlike eggs), men can impact the quality of their sperm through various lifestyle choices. Ensuring you have strong, healthy, fertile sperm starts with an understanding of what impacts sperm production. Men can help reduce the risks through simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping a healthy diet, avoiding excessive use of saunas and hot baths, as well alcohol, smoking, and stress.
The initial male fertility examination includes a detailed medical history, a general physical exam, blood tests, infectious disease screening and semen analysis.
Semen analysis is a fundamental tool that help to diagnosis 9 out of 10 men with male infertility. The semen analysis will measure a few key indicators:
- Sperm Count – the number of sperm cells in the sample
- Morphology – the shape of the sperm
- Motility – the ability and the way that the sperm move
The lab will also check other aspects, such as the ejaculate volume, viscosity, fructose levels, PH levels, and any signs of infection. Since sperm are constantly being created in the testes, each sperm sample analysis will have different results. In most cases, several semen analysis tests are done over a period of time to get a comprehensive diagnosis.
Sperm analysis may include:
- CASA (computer assisted sperm analysis, anti-sperm antibody screen
- DNA fragmentation assay
- Scrotal ultrasound
- Testicular biopsy
- Genetic testing
Can I improve the quality of my semen?
Based on your medical history and the diagnostic tests results, your fertility specialist will determine the course of treatment. The treatment options may include:
- Lifestyle changes – Often getting healthy, adjusting your diet, and modifying your consumption habits will go a long way to improve sperm quality.
- Dietary supplements – Research has shown that sperm production can also be improved by taking specific, clinically proven supplements
- Surgery– Can be helpful in the treatment of varicocele to widen the veins in the scrotum, or in cases of blockage in the tubes that carry sperm.
- Antibiotic treatment– To clear up specific infections of the male reproductive system
- Hormone replacement and medication– Can be used to address hormonal imbalances
- Medication or counseling– Useful in the treatment of concerns around sexual function, including stress reduction
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART)– Depending on the semen analysis results, the sperm will be collected either from the patient or sperm donor and used to fertilize the egg using one of the following techniques:
- IUI – Artificial insemination may be certain cases of low sperm count and quality. In this procedure, sperm is collected from several ejaculations. Any poor quality sperm cells are removed, and a concentrated sperm sample is then placed directly in the female’s uterus.
- IVF – During in-vitro fertilization (IVF), fertilization occurs in the lab by mixing the sperm sample with the egg. The developing embryo will be transferred into the woman’s uterus.
- ICSI-IVF– Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be part of the IVF procedure. With ICSA, a specific, single sperm cell is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg.
Male infertility is a complex condition that can be caused by combination of several factors. Many men find reassurance knowing that many cases can be improved with the right treatment plan.
By working with a fertility specialist at Anova, you will be able to get a complete picture of your male fertility factors, and a treatment plan tailored to you. Most of these tests are covered by OHIP, so if you have concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.