Male Fertility Services
Infertility evaluation is incomplete without including the male. In 40% of couples having trouble conceiving, the male is found to be at least part of the reason.
In the past, much of the reluctance to investigate the male had more to do with lack of knowledge than lack of importance. We are now at a time when more reliable testing is available. Additionally, we have very powerful treatment options which can overcome most types of male infertility.
As a full service infertility lab and clinic, we can provide or arrange most services needed by both partners.
We offer the following services:
There is a great deal of variability in the quality of semen analysis done in different labs. Fertility centers have the luxury of correlating what they see in the lab with what produces pregnancies.
Sperm Cryo Preservation
Sperm can be stored frozen for decades to centuries. We have two options for storage. For short term storage the specimen can be kept in our facility. For longer storage (example: cancer patients, or vasectomy back-up) we have an arrangement with a major national center. This arrangement is cheaper for long term situations. In addition, they have the ability to transport sperm anywhere in the country and most parts of the world.
Sperm Retrieval from Testicular Biopsy/Aspiration
Most men with no sperm in the semen still are producing sperm in the testicles. This sperm can be retrieved and used in IVF/ICSI with excellent results.
Spinal Cord Injured Males
After spinal cord injury, most men no longer ejaculate but they continue to make sperm. This sperm can frequently be obtained at home using a special vibratory device. Some men have a dangerous blood pressure response which could lead to stroke. This is called autonomic dysreflexia and must be ruled out before the procedure can be done at home. When this does not work, electro-ejaculation will usually work. Both procedures are relatively simple but not well known. We evaluate for response, train for home use, verify safety ,and when necessary refer for electro-ejaculation. Some men decide to go to surgical retrieval and this can be arranged also.
Sperm Processing for Insemination
Raw semen cannot be used for intra-uterine insemination (IUI). It must be purified to remove the seminal fluid and any other cellular debris. By placing the concentrated and purified sperm high in the uterus, better pregnancy rates can be obtained in several fertility conditions.
Processing of Sperm From Retrograde Ejaculation
This applies primarily to men with diabetes, MS, and after certain surgeries such as for prostate cancer. In these situations , sperm goes into the bladder. Normally the acidic fluid in the urine destroys the sperm but it is possible to use additives which will prevent this allowing us time to retrieve sperm from the urine. It can then be washed and used for IUI or IVF.
Full IVF and ICSI Lab
IVF is the most powerful tool we have in treating male factor infertility. Since the perfection of the ICSI technique we can obtain excellent pregnancy rates with very small numbers of sperm. If fact, the greatest limitation in this process is the woman’s age. The message here is that time/age is critical.
In the IVF/ICSI procedure, eggs are obtained and then one sperm is selected and injected into each egg.
Hormonal Testing and Treatment
For unclear reasons, we are seeing an increasing number of men who are in need of hormonal treatment to improve fertility. There are specific tests that must be obtained to verify this is possible. We will train the couple in administration and monitor the man for response.
New findings have shown that men with a common chromosomal
problem called Kleinfelter’s syndrome can frequently be
induced to produce sperm using a group of drugs known as
aromatase inhibitors. This does not produce enough sperm for
natural conception or IUI but can produce enough sperm for
IVF/ICSI. In most cases the sperm must be retrieved by
surgical collection after medical treatment.