Sperm production disorders
Infertility may result from sperm production disorders, where sperm are low in numbers, are abnormally shaped, or have poor mobility. Abnormally shaped sperm may not be able to penetrate and fertilize an egg whereas sperm that do not move well may not even reach the egg.
Indicators of sperm production disorders
Causes of sperm production disorders may include:
Diagnostic testing for sperm production disorders
After reviewing your medical history and the results of your physical examination, your doctor will order a semen analysis to evaluate your sperm. If the analysis is normal, your doctor may also want to check for a hormonal imbalance (testosterone, etc.) and for genetic defects. Some of the parameters we check for in a semen analysis include:
Treatment for sperm production disorders
Quite often, the reason for male factor 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.
Your physician may recommend ICSI as part of your IVF procedure to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm, such as low motility (movement) or a low sperm count. ICSI is especially useful in cases where the sperm cannot penetrate the egg or if the sperm are abnormally shaped.