Infertility Question-Husband's Problem?

November 4, 2008

We've been trying to get pregnant and it seems everything is okay with me. Could it be my husband who has the problem?

And the Answer is...

There was a time when infertility was considered to be the woman's problem, but over time that has certainly changed. As more and more men are willing to undergo fertility testing, we are seeing that indeed, many men are struggling to produce children.

Klinefelter's Syndrome

There are several reasons for this. One is Klinefelter's Syndrome which is a genetic disorder in men caused by the presence of an extra X chromosome. This results in smaller testicles than normal and either little or no sperm in their ejaculations. There is an upside to this condition though, as many men do have some sperm present in their testes and if it can be identified and removed, it can then be used in IVF - In vitro fertilization. Today the use of microsurgery to harvest the sperm has been very successful for nearly 70 percent of men seeking fertility help.

Sertoli-Cell Only Syndrome

Sertoli-cell only syndrome is a condition where the sperm production cells that are in the testes are no longer there. It is not possible to re-establish sperm in the testicles if they are totally gone. There is a microsurgical approach which can be very effective to address this type of situation. By using very high magnification and an operating microscope, an examination done by microsurgical dissection of the testes can show small pockets of sperm which can be extracted and later used in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process where a single sperm is injected into an egg to produce fertilization.

Varicoceles

Men who suffer with varicoceles, varicose veins in the scrotum or scrotal area, may incur low sperm counts. The primary concept as to why lower sperm counts are present in men with this condition is that the presence of the enlarged vein keeps the testicles warmer causing a slowing or impairment to sperm production. Surgical methods to tie off these veins are varied. A most successful and effective method of dealing with varicoceles is by using microsurgery to make a tiny incision in the groin area. This provides opportunity for the doctor to find the correct vein causing the problem and tie it off rather than risking tying off an artery. Rarely are there complications from this surgery and some improvement in the semen are often noted.

Vasectomy

All the rage a few years ago, vasectomies were used as "male birth control." There are many men who want to father children after having had a vasectomy and their option is a vasectomy reversal operation. This is a very delicate operation done by microsurgery where the vasectomy is bypassed in order to return the normal flow of sperm. It is very important to the success of such an operation to have a surgeon who is experienced in microsurgery and one who has expertise and experience in this type of surgery.

 

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