Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected, properly timed intercourse. Approximately 15% of all couples are infertile, 30% of couples will not be able to conceive naturally solely because of a male factor. Another 30% due to female factors. About 20% will have causes related to both male and female and 20% of the cases fall under unexplained infertility
- To optimize overall fertility potential and maximize chances of natural or assisted pregnancy.
- To prevent unnecessary added delays, since many couples are now postponing parenthood.
- To screen for modifiable practices or lifestyle elements that might be affecting male fertility.
- To identify treatable causes of male infertility.
- To screen for undetected medical conditions that might be contributing to male infertility.
There can be many causes for male infertility. Therefore, we advocate a systematic approach which begins with a detailed history and physical examination, followed by a thorough laboratory evaluation. The initial evaluation includes a semen analysis and hormonal testing. Depending upon these results, a more detailed evaluation may follow with:
- Repeat semen analysis
- Radiologic studies
- Sperm function tests
- Genetic evaluation
- Additional hormonal Studies
- Testicular biopsy