Anything that blocks the pathways in which the sperm travel may cause male factor infertility. Scar tissue that formed as a result of a previous surgery or from an infection in the pathways, for example, may cause a obstructive problem in the male reproductive system. Varicose veins that develop in the testes may also interfere with sperm production. Some structural defects may be congenital (present at birth).
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS FOR OBSTRUCTIVE PROBLEMS
The “fructose test” can help your doctor evaluate a obstructive problem or a blockage of the seminal vesicles—the duct that connects the seminal vesicles to your ejaculatory duct. If there is no fructose in your semen, there may be a obstructive problem.
It’s important to note that at Shady Grove Fertility, performing fructose testing is infrequent as ultrasound is a more accurate test.
TREATMENT FOR ANATOMICAL OR STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS
If your doctor diagnoses a structural problem, surgery may be an option. Quite often, the reason for male infertility is unknown, so your doctor may speak with you about other options, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and other similar procedures. IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has become a revolutionary procedure for patients with male factor infertility, as embryologists only need to isolate a single healthy sperm to fertilize the egg.