Sher Fertility Institute New York’s fertility expert, Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD, states that “It is critical to test your partner, no matter the circumstances”. Male infertility is present in 30-40% of infertile couples. As a matter of fact, the semen analysis should be the first test to be ordered. It is non-invasive and of low cost and will reveal a tremendous amount of information.
The analysis of the semen must be done in an accredited lab that follows established guidelines and with strict quality control. The test determines not only the sperm concentration (count in million/ml), forward progressive motility and shape (morphology), but also measures several biochemical parameters of the semen fluid (seminal plasma). A normal semen analysis is for sure reassuring, but the physician must make sure about coital frequency and timing related to ovulation.
If the semen analysis is abnormal, the male partner needs to consult a reproductive specialist, who will perform a thorough history and physical examination, repeat the test, and may add sperm quality assays (such as Halotest to identify sperm DNA fragmentation), as well as checking blood hormones. Study of blood chromosomes and genetics may be important depending on the clinical scenario. Immediately, the male partner must adopt key lifestyle changes if appropriate:
-Stop smoking cigarettes
-Stop using marihuana or other drugs of abuse
-Eliminate of decrease alcohol intake
-Stop any androgenic supplement, used for body building and others, such as DHEA, testosterone, or hCG.
-Start vitamins and antioxidants (obtained over the counter)
In some cases, a referral to a urologist will be important to provide further evaluation of the anatomy and physiology of the male genital tract and decide on any surgical corrective therapy.
The reproductive specialists at Sher Fertility Institute, NY, will direct the couple to the therapy that is most effective in the shortest period of time. In mild cases, intrauterine inseminations may work, but in the majority of men with low sperm count/motility/morphology IVF augmented with ICSI will be the most successful approach.
If you want to discuss this in further detail or have any questions now and would like a consultation, we are excited to announce that Sher Fertility Institute New York is offering telemedicine consultations for new and established patients. Schedule your appointment by contacting Sher Fertility Institute New York at 646-792-7476 or click here to schedule an appointment.