What information does a FISH procedure on spermatozoa provide us with?

When a fertility analysis in the male partner is limited to a seminogram or spermiogram, we only get a partial view of semen quality. A seminogram only provides us with information on the number and characteristics of sperm in the ejaculate (mobility, morphology…). It does not, however, tell us anything about other aspects such as sperm DNA integrity […]

What is a spermatid?

Spermatozoa production takes place in the testicular seminiferous tubules and the process is known as spermatogenesis.  At the end of this process, a germ cell generates 4 mature spermatozoa which will survive in the human body for between 62 and 75 days.  The final stage in spermatogenesis, known as spermiogenesis, is a cell differentiation and maturation process consisting of the change from spermatids to spermatozoa.  As can be seen in the picture, the spermatids develop from secondary spermatocites and have already undergone Meiosis I and II division. They have a normal set of chromosomes (haploid) which means that fertilisation of a mature egg can take place. Therefore, and despite the fact that they are immature cells, they can be used in assisted reproduction techniques using ICSI when there are no mature sperm in samples taken from the ejaculate or testicles. […]

Asthenozoospermia: What is it? How can it be detected? What course of treatment can be used in order to get pregnant?

Asthenozoospermia is a decrease in the percentage of motile sperm in a sperm sample and it is identified by means of a seminogram or semen analysis.
Nowadays, seminograms are a basic tool which provide us with information in order to evaluate a man’s fertility and they are very useful when determining personalised treatment for the couple concerned. The analysis can be used to evaluate numerous factors such as the concentration, motility and morphology of sperm present in the ejaculate, amongst others.
According to the criteria included in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2010) manual, a man has asthenozoospermia when less than 32% of sperm in the ejaculate have progressive motility (sperm which move around) or when there it less than 40% total motile sperm (motile sperm which do and do not move around). […]

How are seminograms interpreted?

A seminogram, or semen analysis, is a basic analysis of a semen sample with the aim of determining semen quality. In order to carry out the analysis correctly, the patient needs to refrain from sexual intercourse for a period of 3 to 5 days. That is, he must not ejaculate during that period and the sample must be obtained by means of masturbation.
The most relevant parameters evaluated in a semen sample include: […]

By |2016-12-13T19:08:46+00:0016 de December de 2016|Fertility, News, Reproductive biology, Urology|0 Comments

Teratozoospermia and male infertility

Teratozoospermia is an increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm in a sperm sample and it is identified by means of a seminogram or semen analysis.
According to the criteria in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2010 manual, a man has teratozoospermia when the percentage of normal spermatozoa in the ejaculate is below 4%.
Defects in sperm […]

Oligozoospermia: What is it? How can it be detected? What course of treatment can be used in order to get pregnant? What about criptozoospermia?

Oligozoospermia is the presence of an abnormally low number of sperm in a semen sample.
According to the criteria in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) manual, normal sperm content in a sample of semen should be equal to or above 15 million per millimetre. If a sperm count gives a result below this figure, this is known as oligozoospermia and it may be associated with fertility issues. More than one sample will need to be evaluated in order to confirm this.
The diagnosis method consists of a spermogram which, amongst other things, gives a sperm count per millimetre of semen. […]

Male fertility tests

When a couple is faced with difficulties getting pregnant, there is approximately a 50% chance of the reason for this being a factor in the male partner.
The main cause of fertility issues in men is poor semen quality. Therefore, various parameters in semen need to be analysed in order to determine what the quality of the semen is. Two parameters are particularly important: the concentration or quantity of sperm in semen and their motility. This needs to be adequate in order to ensure that the egg is fertilised.
There are several quick tests available on the market. They are similar to female ovulation tests and they are understood to carefully evaluate semen quality and determine if a man is fertile or not. But are these tests really useful in understanding semen quality? […]

By |2016-10-20T18:04:30+00:0021 de October de 2016|Fertility, News, Pregnancy, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments

Techniques for obtaining spermatozoa

There are currently many different solutions when spermatozoa are not present in ejaculate. Access to a trained urologist increases chances of achieving spermatozoa in greater quantities and with improved quality.
What is TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration)?
This is a question which many couples ask themselves as they turn to assisted reproduction treatment when the issue is an absence of spermatozoa in semen (azoospermia) with the aim of obtaining sperm. TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) is a technique used for obtaining spermatozoa by testicular puncture.
Modern-day urology means that spermatozoa can be obtained for use in assisted reproduction techniques using different means. Over the last 10 years, we have improved the chances of achieving good results whilst reducing the invasive nature of the process and improving the quality of samples obtained in cases in which this was not previously possible. Men who have undergone a vasectomy, cases in which the sperm duct is obstructed or patients with cystic fibrosis are common examples in which adequate spermatozoa may be obtained through a simple testicular puncture under local anaesthetic. Different types of biopsy are also prescribed in certain cases. The differences between them are as follows: […]

By |2016-08-26T10:15:48+00:0026 de August de 2016|Fertility, News, Reproductive biology, Urology|0 Comments

Vasectomies: the male contraceptive

Vasectomies are the most reliable method of male contraception and an estimated 40 to 60 million men worldwide have chosen to have one.  They are the most widely used contraceptive method for men looking to achieve permanent sterility for family planning or personal reasons.
The procedure should be thought of as irreversible. It has a low complications rate and failure is very infrequent. A vasectomy does not begin to work immediately and couples need to continue to use contraceptives until absolute sterility has been achieved. Vasectomies are safe and do not have any side effects or cause serious illness in the long term. It is a method that is used for avoiding pregnancy in long standing relationships but also as a personal sterility method in men who are not in a relationship (those who have separated, divorcees or widowers) but who do have sexual intercourse or, even when they are in a relationship, do not wish to have more children. […]

By |2016-08-04T13:00:49+00:0010 de June de 2016|Fertility, Genetics, News, Pregnancy, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments

Stress and its role in infertility

Infertility is an issue which has significant emotionally taxing consequences for couples. The inability to fulfil such an important part of personal development as having children directly affects all aspects of the patients’ lives.
The individual’s core is affected and there is a breakdown in important matters such as self-confidence, future plans, life as a couple, family, social life, sexual relationships and so on. Stress and depression are common under these circumstances and, as if this were not enough, this difficult situation is often not given the attention it deserves and is even trivialised by others who make it out to be a matter of little importance. Indeed, some even suggest it has a positive side and come out with unfortunate comments such as ‘but you’re so much better off without children.’ […]