Urology Of Greater Atlanta
Male infertility affects approximately 40-50% of couples who have difficulty conceiving a child. Male infertility is caused by a range of issues, including hormonal imbalances, a low sperm count, poor movement of the sperm, low-quality sperm, blockages in the male reproductive organs, or other lifestyle factors.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year without any success, then schedule a consultation with Urology of Atlanta. Our top-rated urologists diagnose the cause of male infertility and provide personalized treatment plans. Call one of our many offices in Georgia today to schedule an appointment!
What Is Infertility?
Infertility can be defined as the inability of a man and woman to conceive children. A physician will typically diagnose infertility after a couple has difficulty achieving pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
Conceiving a child might seem like one of the most natural things. However, many factors need to come together at the precise time to conceive a child.
A woman needs to release a viable egg that successfully travels through the fallopian tube toward the uterus. A man needs to release viable sperm that can enter the uterus and join with the egg. Then the fertilized egg needs to successfully implant into the uterine lining.
What Is Male Infertility?
Male infertility can be defined as any health issue that prevents a man from getting a female partner pregnant. Male infertility is typically due to insufficient sperm quality or quantity. Both a low sperm count and low-quality sperm reduce the chances of a sperm cell joining with an egg and a viable pregnancy.
Many factors can contribute to abnormal sperm production. Some people produce low volumes of sperm, and some people have sperm that do not move normally.
In some cases, your sperm might be either abnormal in shape or otherwise unable to perform its function in pregnancy. You could also have anatomy or blockages that interfere with the delivery of sperm during ejaculation.
What Are Some Causes of Male Infertility?
Many factors can contribute to male infertility, including:
- Varicoceles (dilated veins near the testicles)
- Developmental problems
- Chromosome (genetic) abnormalities
- Hormonal problems
- Prior surgeries
Your lifestyle can also affect your fertility. If you’re overweight, have a poor diet, consume too much alcohol, or use tobacco or other drugs, you put your fertility at risk. Additionally, prolonged exposure to chemicals, chemotherapy, radiation, and heat can interfere with sperm production.
How Is Male Infertility Diagnosed?
Male Infertility is diagnosed by an experienced urologist who evaluates your fertility through various methods, including a physical examination, blood hormone testing, semen analysis, and diagnostic imaging such as an MRI or a CT scan. Depending upon the initial evaluation results, further individualized testing may be recommended.
How Is Male Infertility Treated?
Urology of Greater Atlanta offers multiple treatments to improve male fertility and your chances of fathering a child. Below is a list of the most common treatments used to help improve your chances of conceiving a child successfully.
Your urologist will provide customized advice to enhance your fertility. They might recommend diet and exercise adjustments to improve your overall health and help you lose weight. Your doctor can also help you give up smoking and other unhealthy habits.
Depending upon your hormone levels, your urologist may recommend a medication to boost your natural testosterone and sperm production. Certain vitamins or supplements may also be recommended to reduce stress on the sperm.
The team also offers sperm retrieval services for men with fertility obstacles, such as reduced sperm production, an ejaculation disorder (retrograde ejaculation), or obstructions within the ejaculatory ducts. Your physician might also recommend sperm retrieval for certain types of erectile dysfunction.
There are several options for sperm retrieval, depending on your individual situation. This sperm can then be used for assisted reproductive technologies such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)
TESA is an office procedure where your urologist provides local anesthesia and uses a needle to aspirate sperm directly from the testicle. Testicular sperm aspiration is often a diagnostic procedure.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
TESE is an office-based procedure performed with local anesthesia. During the procedure, your urologist will make a small incision in the testicle and will directly remove a small amount of testicular tissue where sperm are produced.
Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA)
MESA is an effective retrieval option if you have an obstructed ejaculatory duct. Using a high-powered surgical microscope, your physician can aspirate sperm directly from the epididymis while you’re under general anesthesia.
Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extractions (Micro-TESE)
Micro-TESE is also performed under general anesthesia. Your urologist uses a high-powered surgical microscope to remove sperm directly from your testicular tubules where sperm are produced.
Seminal Vesicle Aspiration
This procedure may be performed in the office or with light sedation if there is obstruction of the ejaculatory ducts. It involves the usage of a transrectal ultrasound probe to assess the seminal vesicles and aspirate sperm directly from the obstructed area.
Seminal vesicle aspiration can be diagnostic in preparation for a procedure to relieve the obstruction, or it can retrieve sperm to be used for assisted reproductive technologies.
Transurethral Resection of the Ejaculatory Duct (TURED)
In some cases, instead of retrieving sperm, your physician might recommend a transurethral resection of the ejaculatory duct (TURED). This procedure can help if scar tissue, a cyst, a calcification, or other blockage prevents the sperm from reaching the ejaculate.
Resecting (removing) the obstruction may return sperm into your ejaculate and allow for natural conception.
A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum that may interfere with sperm production and/or cause pain. They are most commonly caused by defective valves within the veins.
Varicoceles that do not cause symptoms or impair fertility do not require treatment, as up to 15% of men in the general population may have one. In males with infertility, 30-40% may have a varicocele.
If your fertility problems are due to a varicocele, surgery may be the best option. The physicians at Urology of Greater Atlanta offer innovative microsurgical techniques using a high-powered surgical microscope to repair varicoceles through a small incision in the groin.
If you would like to find out whether you are infertile, then schedule an appointment with our skilled urologists at Urology of Atlanta. Our highly skilled urologists will be able to diagnose you accurately as well as educate you on what treatment methods are best for you. Contact one of our offices in Georgia today or book an appointment online!