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Evaluation of the Subfertile Man. Infertility affects 15 % of couples, and 50 % of male infertility is potentially correctable. Infertility affects 15.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation of the Subfertile Man. Infertility affects 15 % of couples, and 50 % of male infertility is potentially correctable. Infertility affects 15."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation of the Subfertile Man

2 Infertility affects 15 % of couples, and 50 % of male infertility is potentially correctable. Infertility affects 15 % of couples, and 50 % of male infertility is potentially correctable.

3 Evaluation of the subfertile man requires: Evaluation of the subfertile man requires: 1. A complete medical history, 2. Physical examination, and 3. Laboratory studies.

4 The main purpose of the male evaluation is to identify and treat correctable causes of subfertility. The main purpose of the male evaluation is to identify and treat correctable causes of subfertility.

5 In addition, many men seek an explanation for their condition, which can be discovered during their evaluation. In addition, many men seek an explanation for their condition, which can be discovered during their evaluation.

6 The male fertility evaluation can uncover significant medical and genetic pathology that could affect the patient's health or that of his offspring. The male fertility evaluation can uncover significant medical and genetic pathology that could affect the patient's health or that of his offspring.

7 Although pregnancies can be achieved without any evaluation other than a semen analysis, Although pregnancies can be achieved without any evaluation other than a semen analysis, This test alone is insufficient to adequately evaluate the male patient. This test alone is insufficient to adequately evaluate the male patient.

8 Treatment of correctable male-factor pathology is : Treatment of correctable male-factor pathology is : 1. Cost effective, 2. Does not increase the risk of multiple births, and 3. Can spare the woman invasive procedures and potential complications associated with assisted reproductive technologies.

9 Appropriate evaluation and treatment of the subfertile man are critical in delivering suitable care to the infertile couple. Appropriate evaluation and treatment of the subfertile man are critical in delivering suitable care to the infertile couple.

10 Infertility, defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse, affects 15 % of couples. Infertility, defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse, affects 15 % of couples.

11 Male subfertility is one of the most rapidly growing fields in medicine, with dramatic advances in diagnosis and treatment. Male subfertility is one of the most rapidly growing fields in medicine, with dramatic advances in diagnosis and treatment.

12 Although infertility (or subfertility) is often attributed to female causes, fertility is a two-person phenomenon. Although infertility (or subfertility) is often attributed to female causes, fertility is a two-person phenomenon.

13 Successful conception depends on many complicated events, including : Successful conception depends on many complicated events, including : 1. Satisfactory sexual and ejaculatory function, 2. Appropriate timing, and a 3. Complex set of interactions between the male and the female reproductive tracts.

14 Male and female factors coexist in about one third of cases, while one third of cases are secondary to male factors only. Male and female factors coexist in about one third of cases, while one third of cases are secondary to male factors only. Therefore, evaluation of both partners is critical, and the woman's gynecologic evaluation should proceed simultaneously with the man's. Therefore, evaluation of both partners is critical, and the woman's gynecologic evaluation should proceed simultaneously with the man's.

15 Causes of Male Subfertility The most common identifiable cause of male subfertility is a varicocele, a condition of palpably distended veins of the pampiniform plexus of the spermatic cord. The most common identifiable cause of male subfertility is a varicocele, a condition of palpably distended veins of the pampiniform plexus of the spermatic cord.

16 varicocele

17 Doppler of testis(valsalva) varicocele varicocele

18 The term "subclinical varicocele" refers to a lesion too small to be detected by physical examination. The term "subclinical varicocele" refers to a lesion too small to be detected by physical examination. Causes of Male Subfertility

19 The concept of a subclinical varicocele arose from the observation in early reports that the detrimental effect of small varicoceles equaled that of larger varicoceles. The concept of a subclinical varicocele arose from the observation in early reports that the detrimental effect of small varicoceles equaled that of larger varicoceles. However, more recent studies suggest that larger varicoceles have a greater impact on fertility. However, more recent studies suggest that larger varicoceles have a greater impact on fertility. Causes of Male Subfertility

20 As a result, most subspecialists who deal with male subfertility do not regard subclinical varicoceles as clinically significant. As a result, most subspecialists who deal with male subfertility do not regard subclinical varicoceles as clinically significant.

21 Another common correctable cause of male subfertility is obstruction, which may occur after a vasectomy. Another common correctable cause of male subfertility is obstruction, which may occur after a vasectomy. Causes of Male Subfertility

22 Less common correctable causes include : Less common correctable causes include : 1. Ejaculatory dysfunction, 2. Infection, 3. Medications, and 4. Hormonal deficiency Causes of Male Subfertility

23 When the sum of these correctable causes is calculated, it becomes apparent that more than one half of cases of male subfertility are potentially correctable. When the sum of these correctable causes is calculated, it becomes apparent that more than one half of cases of male subfertility are potentially correctable. Causes of Male Subfertility

24 The specific corrective treatments such as vasectomy reversal and varicocele ligation are more cost effective than empiric treatment with assisted reproductive technologies. The specific corrective treatments such as vasectomy reversal and varicocele ligation are more cost effective than empiric treatment with assisted reproductive technologies. Causes of Male Subfertility

25 Furthermore, correction of underlying male factors can: Furthermore, correction of underlying male factors can: 1. Allow for natural conception, 2. Does not carry an increased risk of multiple births, and 3. Spares the woman invasive procedures and the potential complications of these therapies. Causes of Male Subfertility

26 Recent advances, particularly in molecular genetics, have improved our understanding of some forms of male subfertility. Recent advances, particularly in molecular genetics, have improved our understanding of some forms of male subfertility. A significant proportion of male subfertility currently is unexplained. A significant proportion of male subfertility currently is unexplained. Causes of Male Subfertility

27 About 13 % of men with nonobstructive azoospermia (i.e., no sperm in the semen because of low or absent sperm production) have been shown to have Y-chromosome microdeletions, About 13 % of men with nonobstructive azoospermia (i.e., no sperm in the semen because of low or absent sperm production) have been shown to have Y-chromosome microdeletions, Causes of Male Subfertility

28

29 About 70 % of men with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens are carriers of cystic fibrosis mutations. About 70 % of men with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens are carriers of cystic fibrosis mutations. Causes of Male Subfertility

30 (ICSI) The most significant advance in the treatment of severe male infertility is in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The most significant advance in the treatment of severe male infertility is in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). With this technique, a single sperm is injected directly into the oocyte. With this technique, a single sperm is injected directly into the oocyte. Only one viable sperm per egg is required for ICSI, and a precise diagnosis is not required to achieve conception. Only one viable sperm per egg is required for ICSI, and a precise diagnosis is not required to achieve conception.

31 (ICSI) When using sperm from men with known or presumed genetic infertility, it must be assumed that any male offspring also will be infertile. When using sperm from men with known or presumed genetic infertility, it must be assumed that any male offspring also will be infertile. Y-chromosome microdeletions from the father are inherited by the sons when ICSI is used. Y-chromosome microdeletions from the father are inherited by the sons when ICSI is used.

32 There does not appear to be an increased risk of major malformations in children born from ICSI compared with the general population. There does not appear to be an increased risk of major malformations in children born from ICSI compared with the general population.

33 Counseling about these potential genetic issues is a critical part of the male fertility evaluation. Counseling about these potential genetic issues is a critical part of the male fertility evaluation.

34 Evaluation The main goals of evaluating the subfertile man are to identify correctable causes of infertility and to help him and his partner to conceive by the most natural, least invasive means possible. The main goals of evaluating the subfertile man are to identify correctable causes of infertility and to help him and his partner to conceive by the most natural, least invasive means possible.

35 In addition, the evaluation may uncover significant underlying medical or genetic pathology. In addition, the evaluation may uncover significant underlying medical or genetic pathology. Evaluation

36 Subfertility may be related to an underlying malignancy, such as a testicular or pituitary tumor. Subfertility may be related to an underlying malignancy, such as a testicular or pituitary tumor. Evaluation

37 If the only evaluation is a semen analysis, underlying pathology can be missed. If the only evaluation is a semen analysis, underlying pathology can be missed. Evaluation

38 History and Physical Examination A careful history can : A careful history can : 1. Offer clues to the underlying cause of infertility and 2. Provide an assessment of the man's fertility potential.

39 These data should be documented: These data should be documented: 1. The duration of the infertility, 2. Previous evaluation and treatment, 3. Previous pregnancies (for either partner), and 4. Any difficulty establishing these pregnancies History and Physical Examination

40 1. Inadequate frequency or timing of intercourse, 2. Sexual dysfunction, and 3. Lubricant use can impede pregnancy. History and Physical Examination Evidence level B

41 The optimal frequency of intercourse is every day or every other day around the expected time of ovulation. The optimal frequency of intercourse is every day or every other day around the expected time of ovulation. History and Physical Examination Evidence level B

42 Because nearly all commercially available lubricants are spermatotoxic, their use is discouraged. Because nearly all commercially available lubricants are spermatotoxic, their use is discouraged. History and Physical Examination

43 Most men of reproductive age do not have a significant medical history, but some specific risk factors may be identified. Most men of reproductive age do not have a significant medical history, but some specific risk factors may be identified. For example, diabetes mellitus can cause erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction. For example, diabetes mellitus can cause erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction. History and Physical Examination

44 Previous disorders of the testes, such as : Previous disorders of the testes, such as : 1. Cryptorchidism or 2. Spermatic cord torsion, or 3. A history of inguinal, scrotal, or retroperitoneal surgery, are associated with subfertility. History and Physical Examination

45 Use of: Use of: 1. Prescription or 2. Drugs and 3. Exposure to environmental toxins also can impair fertility History and Physical Examination

46 Anosmia may suggest an underlying hypothalamic etiology (such as Kallmann's syndrome) or a pituitary etiology, Anosmia may suggest an underlying hypothalamic etiology (such as Kallmann's syndrome) or a pituitary etiology, History and Physical Examination

47 Frequent respiratory infections are a feature of : Frequent respiratory infections are a feature of : 1. Young's syndrome: (e.g., chronic sinusitis, bronchiectasis, obstructive azoospermia) and 2. Kartagener's syndrome: (e.g., primary ciliary dyskinesia/immotile cilia, chronic sinusitis, bronchiectasis, situs inversus). History and Physical Examination

48 1. Headaches, 2. Visual field disturbances, or 3. Galactorrhea should prompt an investigation for a tumor of the central nervous system. History and Physical Examination

49 Clues to the Diagnosis of Male Infertility

50 Clinical clue Possible diagnosis

51

52 A thorough examination can identify underlying causes of subfertility. A thorough examination can identify underlying causes of subfertility. Abnormal distribution of hair and fat can suggest an underlying endocrinopathy, such as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Abnormal distribution of hair and fat can suggest an underlying endocrinopathy, such as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. History and Physical Examination

53 The position and size of the urethral meatus should be noted because severe hypospadias can impair sperm deposition near the cervix. The position and size of the urethral meatus should be noted because severe hypospadias can impair sperm deposition near the cervix. History and Physical Examination

54 Normal testes are 20 cm3 or more or at least 4 cm in greatest dimension. Normal testes are 20 cm3 or more or at least 4 cm in greatest dimension. Those smaller than 20 cm3 are suggestive of decreased sperm production and may occur in hypogonadal men as well. Those smaller than 20 cm3 are suggestive of decreased sperm production and may occur in hypogonadal men as well. History and Physical Examination

55 The presence of the vasa deferentia and epididymides as well as any induration or engorgement suggestive of obstruction should be noted. The presence of the vasa deferentia and epididymides as well as any induration or engorgement suggestive of obstruction should be noted. History and Physical Examination

56 Varicoceles are found most commonly on the left side, but up to 20 % may be bilateral. Varicoceles are found most commonly on the left side, but up to 20 % may be bilateral. Diagnosis should be made in a warm room by palpation of the spermatic cord with the patient in the standing position. Diagnosis should be made in a warm room by palpation of the spermatic cord with the patient in the standing position. History and Physical Examination

57 Varicoceles are graded: 1+ : (palpable with Valsalva's maneuver only), 2+ : (palpable), and 3+ : (visible through the scrotal skin). Varicoceles are graded: 1+ : (palpable with Valsalva's maneuver only), 2+ : (palpable), and 3+ : (visible through the scrotal skin). History and Physical Examination

58 1. An isolated right-sided varicocele or 2. A lesion on either side that does not disappear when the patient assumes the supine position: Should prompt imaging of the retroperitoneum to evaluate for inferior vena caval or renal vein obstruction. Should prompt imaging of the retroperitoneum to evaluate for inferior vena caval or renal vein obstruction. History and Physical Examination

59 Digital rectal examination is performed to examine: Digital rectal examination is performed to examine: 1. The prostate gland, 2. Seminal vesicles, and 3. Possible cysts that can cause ejaculatory duct obstruction. History and Physical Examination

60 Laboratory Evaluation The semen analysis is the foundation of the laboratory evaluation. The semen analysis is the foundation of the laboratory evaluation. At least two samples, preferably taken at least two or three weeks apart, should be analyzed after two to three days of sexual abstinence. At least two samples, preferably taken at least two or three weeks apart, should be analyzed after two to three days of sexual abstinence.

61 The sample should be collected by masturbation in a clean container and analyzed within one hour of collection. The sample should be collected by masturbation in a clean container and analyzed within one hour of collection. The sample can be collected at home if it is kept at body temperature and brought to the laboratory in sufficient time. The sample can be collected at home if it is kept at body temperature and brought to the laboratory in sufficient time. Laboratory Evaluation

62 In addition to the number of sperm per mL (concentration), other parameters, such as motility, are important in assessing a man's fertility potential. In addition to the number of sperm per mL (concentration), other parameters, such as motility, are important in assessing a man's fertility potential. Laboratory Evaluation

63 Reference Values of Semen Variables

64 Leukocytospermia, which is defined as more than 1 million white blood cells per mL of semen, requires specific testing. Leukocytospermia, which is defined as more than 1 million white blood cells per mL of semen, requires specific testing. It is not possible to definitively identify these cells by microscopic appearance alone. It is not possible to definitively identify these cells by microscopic appearance alone. Laboratory Evaluation

65 In the presence of significant leukocytospermia, empiric antibiotic therapy is reasonable. In the presence of significant leukocytospermia, empiric antibiotic therapy is reasonable. Doxycycline (Vibramycin), in a dosage of 100 mg twice a day for two weeks, is an effective regimen. Doxycycline (Vibramycin), in a dosage of 100 mg twice a day for two weeks, is an effective regimen. A repeat semen analysis should be performed at the completion of therapy. A repeat semen analysis should be performed at the completion of therapy. Laboratory Evaluation

66 The semen analysis does not test fertility, but rather fertility potential. The semen analysis does not test fertility, but rather fertility potential. The chance of initiating a pregnancy correlates with the total number of moving sperm. The chance of initiating a pregnancy correlates with the total number of moving sperm. Laboratory Evaluation

67 Pregnancies can be established with subnormal parameters, illustrating the importance of the female partner's fertility potential and the fact that an abnormal semen analysis cannot be equated with subfertility. Pregnancies can be established with subnormal parameters, illustrating the importance of the female partner's fertility potential and the fact that an abnormal semen analysis cannot be equated with subfertility. Laboratory Evaluation

68 The morphology is a measurement of the percentage of the normal-shaped sperm. The morphology is a measurement of the percentage of the normal-shaped sperm. The Kruger or strict morphology score has been correlated with decreased success with in vitro fertilization. The Kruger or strict morphology score has been correlated with decreased success with in vitro fertilization. Laboratory Evaluation

69 The significance of morphology in estimating the chance for natural conception is less clear. The significance of morphology in estimating the chance for natural conception is less clear. As with any other single semen parameter, it cannot be used in an absolute way to predict fertility. As with any other single semen parameter, it cannot be used in an absolute way to predict fertility. Laboratory Evaluation

70 A semen analysis does not assess sperm function. A semen analysis does not assess sperm function. Specialized testing is available to evaluate this factor. Specialized testing is available to evaluate this factor. Most tests attempt to examine some component of sperm-oocyte interaction or fertilization. Most tests attempt to examine some component of sperm-oocyte interaction or fertilization. Laboratory Evaluation

71 Hormone testing for all subfertile men is not necessary. Hormone testing for all subfertile men is not necessary. When sperm concentration is less than 10 million per mL, measurement of the serum testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels is indicated. When sperm concentration is less than 10 million per mL, measurement of the serum testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels is indicated. Laboratory Evaluation

72 The levels of serum testosterone and FSH are adequate to assess the pituitary-testicular axis in the majority of cases. The levels of serum testosterone and FSH are adequate to assess the pituitary-testicular axis in the majority of cases. Laboratory Evaluation

73 If the total testosterone level is normal, no further endocrine testing is needed. If the total testosterone level is normal, no further endocrine testing is needed. If the total testosterone level is low, the serum luteinizing hormone and prolactin levels can be checked to evaluate for a pituitary cause. If the total testosterone level is low, the serum luteinizing hormone and prolactin levels can be checked to evaluate for a pituitary cause. Laboratory Evaluation

74 When testosterone is merely borderline or only slightly low, supplementation should be avoided unless the man is significantly symptomatic (i.e., erectile dysfunction, markedly decreased energy level, lack of libido). When testosterone is merely borderline or only slightly low, supplementation should be avoided unless the man is significantly symptomatic (i.e., erectile dysfunction, markedly decreased energy level, lack of libido). Laboratory Evaluation

75 Testosterone supplementation will actually lower the sperm concentration in such men because it can cause pituitary suppression of gonadotropins. Testosterone supplementation will actually lower the sperm concentration in such men because it can cause pituitary suppression of gonadotropins. Laboratory Evaluation

76 If the FSH level is elevated, it suggest end-organ (testicular) failure. If the FSH level is elevated, it suggest end-organ (testicular) failure. A low level may indicate an underlying FSH deficiency, such as occurs with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. A low level may indicate an underlying FSH deficiency, such as occurs with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Laboratory Evaluation

77 Evaluation of the Subfertile Man

78 More specialized testing may be required based on the outcome of this initial evaluation. More specialized testing may be required based on the outcome of this initial evaluation. These tests require referral to a center with clinical and laboratory expertise in the field of reproductive medicine. These tests require referral to a center with clinical and laboratory expertise in the field of reproductive medicine. Laboratory Evaluation

79 For example, men with low ejaculate volume (less than 1 mL) should have a post-ejaculatory urine sample analysis to rule out retrograde ejaculation. For example, men with low ejaculate volume (less than 1 mL) should have a post-ejaculatory urine sample analysis to rule out retrograde ejaculation. Laboratory Evaluation

80 Azoospermic men can undergo testicular biopsy to evaluate the level of sperm production and differentiate between testicular failure and obstruction (i.e., normal sperm production) Azoospermic men can undergo testicular biopsy to evaluate the level of sperm production and differentiate between testicular failure and obstruction (i.e., normal sperm production) Azoospermia

81 Azoospermia In patients with azoospermia: In patients with azoospermia: 1. Low semen volume (less than 1 mL), and 2. A normal FSH level, Transrectal ultrasonography is indicated to evaluate for possible ejaculatory duct obstruction. Transrectal ultrasonography is indicated to evaluate for possible ejaculatory duct obstruction.

82 Azoospermia

83 Genetic testing and counseling are indicated in specific instances. Genetic testing and counseling are indicated in specific instances. In patients with azoospermia or severe oligospermia, the karyotype should be determined because of the increased incidence of karyotypic abnormalities in this population. In patients with azoospermia or severe oligospermia, the karyotype should be determined because of the increased incidence of karyotypic abnormalities in this population. Azoospermia

84 Men with congenital absence of the vas deferens, either unilateral or bilateral, may be carriers of cystic fibrosis. Men with congenital absence of the vas deferens, either unilateral or bilateral, may be carriers of cystic fibrosis. These men should have abdominal ultrasonography to check for renal agenesis. These men should have abdominal ultrasonography to check for renal agenesis. Azoospermia

85 The outcome of the initial evaluation can help guide treatment. The outcome of the initial evaluation can help guide treatment. If correctable causes are found, specific corrective treatment is offered. If correctable causes are found, specific corrective treatment is offered. If no correctable problem exists, the couple may wish to pursue treatment with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as intrauterine insemination and (ICSI). If no correctable problem exists, the couple may wish to pursue treatment with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as intrauterine insemination and (ICSI). Azoospermia

86 An alternative to (ART) is empiric treatment with clomiphene citrate, although few convincing data show benefit. An alternative to (ART) is empiric treatment with clomiphene citrate, although few convincing data show benefit. Azoospermia

87 Some reproductive subspecialists advocate abandoning the male evaluation, with the exception of the semen analysis. Some reproductive subspecialists advocate abandoning the male evaluation, with the exception of the semen analysis.

88 Whether this is an efficient approach to conception, is debatable, Whether this is an efficient approach to conception, is debatable, But denying the man an evaluation, including an opportunity to learn the cause of his problem and the chance for specific corrective therapy, seems inappropriate But denying the man an evaluation, including an opportunity to learn the cause of his problem and the chance for specific corrective therapy, seems inappropriate

89


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