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Male Infertility

Special Testing for the Male Partner

When fertility becomes an issue, most people tend to think it’s the woman, but the odds are about 50-50 for both sexes. Another misconception is that if the issue is male infertility, it must be a low sperm count. And while that’s certainly a factor, there are multiple other possible contenders.

There’s no need to place blame or feel guilty — the good news is that many causes of infertility are highly treatable. But it’s important to take your fertility seriously and choose to partner with a team of specialists with the experience, expertise, and technology to go beyond basic testing and not only get to the root of your infertility issues, but actually optimize your fertility with advanced testing and sperm selection.

Our team of fertility experts at IVFMD in Arlington, Grapevine, and Irving, Texas, conducts thorough examinations and treatments that exceed the typical battery of tests for male infertility to ensure the most accurate and optimal results. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding male infertility

Male infertility typically involves four aspects of a man’s semen and sperm:

  • Not enough semen
  • Too few sperm
  • Slow sperm
  • Misshapen sperm

To find out if any of these apply to you, we perform a semen analysis, to pinpoint the factor that may be contributing to your infertility issues and recommend a treatment.

Common causes of these male infertility issues include:

  • Infection
  • Past surgeries
  • Medications
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Blockages
  • Ejaculation issues
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Immune system irregularities

These are just a few of the common culprits that may interfere with sperm. Once we perform a semen analysis, we can better advise you about how to proceed.

Next-level male fertility testing

If your semen analysis reveals that you have enough semen and your sperm are healthy, mobile, and plentiful, but you and your partner still have trouble conceiving, we move on to the next level with three highly advanced male fertility tests. These detect not only healthy sperm, they also allow us to isolate the very best sperm you have.

If you and your partner are considering in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination, your chances for success increase significantly if you take the extra measure of identifying and selecting the strongest, healthiest swimmers. Not only does this improve fertility success, it also decreases the chances of miscarriages and birth defects.

Halo sperm test checks for DNA damage

Each of your sperm has its own DNA, and if damaged or fragmented, the defective DNA may be responsible for your infertility, your partner’s miscarriages, or your child’s birth defect or childhood illness. Fortunately, we can test the DNA in your sperm by placing a sample of your sperm in a dish, dying it with color for better visualization, and adding an acid to the dish.

Healthy DNA disperses when exposed to the acid, which makes a halo effect around the head of the sperm. But fragmented DNA stays put. If you have damaged DNA in your sperm, you may be able to improve it by having more sex, as multiple days of abstinence may contribute to the problem.

Microfluidic technology determines which sperm can stay the course

To get your partner pregnant, your sperm have to swim through the cervix, the uterine lining, and the fallopian tubes, so they need strength and stamina. While basic tests can sort out sperm that are able to swim through certain filters, they don’t put them to test with real-life obstacles.

In our microfluidic test, we run fluid through microchannels that carry your sperm along with it. This replicates the woman’s reproductive system and isolates only the healthiest, strongest sperm that are capable of making it through the narrow canals. We use these sperm for fertilization.

PICSI finds sperm that can get bind

If you suffer from severe sperm hypomotility, meaning your sperm are healthy but they have trouble making forward progress, we turn to the physiological intracytoplasmic sperm injection (PICSI). This advanced technology allows us to identify sperm that have the essential ability to attach themselves to the surface of an egg by binding to a protein called hyaluronan.

The process is actually quite simple: We add some hyaluronan to a petri dish with your sperm and give them time to bond. Then we rinse away the unattached sperm and collect those that formed a bond and use them for fertilization. These successful sperm also tend to be more mature and more likely to contain healthy DNA.

If you and your partner have questions or concerns about your fertility, there’s no better place to find answers and treatments than with us at IVFMD here in Texas. Contact us today by phone or by using the inquiry form online. We can arm you with valuable information, effective treatments, and hope.

Sy Le, M.D.
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