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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 |21 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 |26 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 |10 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.’ […]

The male factor in infertility

In contrast with the old-fashioned belief that reproduction issues are a female thing, current figures are clear: 47% of infertility cases in a couple are down to an issue with the man. Therefore, when a couple has infertility issues and they seek the help of a clinic specialising in assisted reproduction, the tests and analyses are carried out on both members of the couple. This practice of looking into both the female factor and the male factor is now common and carried out by all experts in the field, but there is still a lack of understanding of the fertility issues which men can have. What are they? What solutions do leading assisted reproduction clinics offer nowadays?
The most common issues amongst men are “changes in the sperm count with no apparent cause”, explains Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. That is, a low number of sperm, poor sperm mobility or abnormal morphology. Additionally, there may be more concrete and identifiable reasons for changes in sperm such as obstruction issues, infection, diseases or genetic reasons which impede egg fertilisation or which affect embryo quality. […]

New diagnosis technique for male sterility and missing genetic material (Y chromosome microdeletions).

We all have 46 chromosomes: 23 of them are inherited from our father and 23 are from our mother. The genetic information for our entire body is stored within these chromosomes. Two of the 46 are sex chromosomes and determine whether we are male (XY) or female (XX). Therefore, the Y chromosome contains all the necessary information for differentiating males from females as well as for sperm production.
The study of Y chromosome microdeletions consists of checking if chromosome Y is complete and, as such, has all the necessary information for satisfactory sperm production or if, on the contrary, small fragments are missing. The loss of such fragments leads to altered spermiogramme which can mean poor sperm production (oligozoospermia) or even no production at all (azoospermia). […]

By |23 de September de 2015|Fertility, Genetics, Reproductive biology, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments

Semen quality parameters according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

The spermiogram is a basic tool that provides us with some of the best information to assess male fertility. It is also very useful in order to formulate a personalized treatment plan for the couple.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published several editions of the “Manual for the Examination of Human Semen and Sperm-Cervical Mucus Interaction”, the last one in 2010. Those manuals help and guide andrology laboratories to determine sperm quality. Moreover, in recent years, the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embriology (ESHRE) in collaboration with the WHO have developed a program to improve standardization between laboratories in terms of sperm sample diagnosis and assessment criteria. […]

Contamination, environmental toxins and fertility

Scientific evidence from the last 15 years shows that without a doubt, environmental toxins before conception and during pregnancy cause long-lasting effects on reproductive health. An example of this is the exposure to mercury, which causes cognitive impairment in children. Another example is the exposure to agricultural pesticides, which is associated with sperm quality alterations and higher incidence of testicular and prostate cancer for men, and in women it interferes with the development of puberty, ovulation, fertility and menopause. […]

Using Magnetic Fields to Select Healthy Sperm: MACS (Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting)

It is well known that having the best possible sperm quality is important to the success of assisted reproduction techniques. To achieve this, the lab has to improve sperm quality based on its motility and morphology, selecting the sperm that is considered to be the best.
However in every ejaculate sperm with abnormal membranes are found, which are programmed to “die”. This process is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death.   Approximately 20% of sperm in subfertile patients are  thought to be in the process of “celular death”. […]

Instituto Bernabeu´s specialised unit for the treatment of Klinefelter´s Syndrome and fertility.

Klinefelter’s Syndrome is considered the most common chromosomal abnormality  in humans, with an incidence of 1 out of every 500 newborn males. Those affected by this syndrome have an extra X chromosome, which leads to primary testicular failure and therefore infertility and hypoandrogenism.


By |24 de September de 2012|Fertility, News, Sterility, Urology|0 Comments