Sperm Production Disorders
The function and quantity of sperm greatly impacts male fertility. Learn about the causes of sperm disorders, testing and treatment.
hile it may be surprising to some, we know that 40 to 50 percent of all infertility cases are due—in part or in whole—to male factor infertility. However, when presented with an infertility issue such as a low sperm count (oligospermia), no sperm count (azoospermia), or decreased sperm motility (asthenospermia), reproductive endocrinologist and reproductive urologists are often able to define several potential points of intervention.
Male factor problems essentially fall into one of two categories: productive or obstructive. Problems with sperm production can stem from congenital (present at birth) problems with the testicle, hormone-related issues, varicose veins, environmental exposures, or cancer. In these cases, a detailed consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist or reproductive urologist can help pinpoint potential causes as well as facilitate treatment with the intent of improving a patient's numbers.
Obstructive issues impair the transport of sperm to the semen. Production within the testicle is usually at a normal level but a problem can occur with the outflow tract. Causes can include:
We often focus treatment on either reconstruction of the transport system or retrieval of sperm for use in assisted reproduction. Again, a detailed consultation with specialist will help patients make these decisions.
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