Evaluating Male Infertility
Male infertility is rarely spoken about, but it accounts for nearly 50% of infertility and affects about 7% of the male population. It's paramount that a urologist that is specifically trained to treat men with fertility problems evaluate and treat the male. At the Philadelphia Center for Sexual Medicine, we have an extensive protocol for helping men overcome infertility.
Our Goals for Evaluation
Dr. Paul Gittens has several goals for the initial evaluation of male infertility:
1. To establish and to correct reversible causes of impaired male fertility
2. To identify significant medical conditions that may cause impaired male fertility
3. To identify possible genetic causes that may be passed on to the unborn child
4. To identify irreversible causes of impaired male fertility, which should be managed by IVF, IUI or adoption
The semen analysis is one of the most important indicators of fertility; it provides information on whether there is an obstruction of the flow of sperm; and it gives Dr. Gittens the ability to evaluate the quality of sperm and your body’s ability to make sufficient amounts of sperm. Factors that are considered in the semen analysis are volume, concentration, motility, direction of movement, morphology and pH.
An intact connection between the brain and the testicles is vital for proper fertility. Other factors such as thyroid disease, excess cortisol, and elevated prolactin levels can have an affect on male fertility. Dr. Gittens may evaluate these hormones and others to thoroughly determine your reproductive potential.
Genetic abnormalities can account for small difficulties with male fertility. These abnormalities are more common when the semen analysis exhibits low or no sperm counts, or when Dr. Gittens identifies atypical findings on your physical exam. In these incidences, genetic testing may be warranted.
Depending on what we discover during your evaluation, we may order additional testing such as an ultrasound, a CT scan, MRI, or further specialized testing of sperm.
Female Partner’s Involvement in Male Infertility Treatment
Dr. Gittens always welcomes his patient’s partner to accompany them during office consultations. The evaluation of the male includes a thorough history and physical exam. Dr. Gittens will look through any lab information or semen analysis which has already been done. During the evaluation, you will be asked in-depth questions that relate to your infertility and questions about your general health. Dr. Gittens will also perform a physical exam, which may identify structural abnormalities. Because women can contribute to infertility, we will ask for a reproductive history from the female partner.
Are you having trouble conceiving? Schedule some time with Dr. Gittens today.
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