Center for Male Infertility
Providing Specialized Attention to the Male Fertility Factor
Infertility Isn't Just a Female Problem: The Often Overlook Male Fertility Factor
The Center for Male Infertility at MCRM is dedicated to analyzing and treating an often-overlooked factor of infertility; that of the male partner. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system and impacts men and women equally. Recent studies estimate that about 1 in 6 child-bearing aged couples in the United States suffer from infertility. Of these couple, about 25% of the cases involve more than one factor and in approximately 40% of these couples the male partner is the major factor of the infertility.
The causes of male infertility can include:
- Chromosomal Defects (DNA Fragmentation)
- Inability of the Sperm to Complete Capacitation (Cap-Score Assay)
- Retrograde Ejaculation
- Past Infection or Trauma
- Undescended Testicles
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Celiac Disease
- Environmental Causes (Radiation, Chemicals, Overuse of Saunas/Hot Tubs)
- Drug Usage
- Alcohol Usage
Determining Male Factor Infertility
After several months of not being able to conceive or after recurrent pregnancy loss, couples begin asking the question, "Why?" In most situations, evaluation begins simply with the female partner, but investigation should also include the male partner. Evaluating the male fertility factor is quite simple and entails the completion of a semen analysis. Typically, male factor is almost always considered to be an evaluation of count and motility---the 'quantitative' factors. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that normal values for these quantitative factors as:
- Concentration: > 20 million
- Motility: > 40%
- Volume: 1.5mL-5 mL
When a basic semen analysis (count & motility) is completed and the observed values obtained from the testing fall outside of the normal values then one is determined to be suffering a male factor of infertility. But in many cases, the basic testing indicates normal values, and this is regarded as meaning that there is "NO Problem". In these cases, the male partner is usually ruled out as a factor to the couple's infertility struggle. However, while quantity is important, quality measures are an even more important value and are generally overlooked.
MCRM Fertility and the Center for Male Infertility utilizes the most cutting-edge techniques available to analyze semen samples in order to discover factors that affect the probability of live birth, the ability to achieve pregnancy and also the ability to maintain pregnancy. These techniques evaluate the qualitative values of the semen which are helpful to look at genetic issues of sperm that are so obviously important for achieving pregnancy. After all, this is what a 'good' sperm is – one that has genetic integrity. The number of sperm is no reflection on quality!
Listen and Learn
On this episode of Focus on Fertility, we discuss the role men can have with fertility issues and the process of semen analysis for couples trying to conceive.