Cryptorchidism, from the Greek words kriptos (hidden) and orquis (testicle), is the failure of one or both testes to descend to the scrotum. It is estimated that between 2 and 5% of newborn boys have this abnormality although the figure rises to 30% when premature boys are taken into account. In many cases, the issue resolves itself naturally and, as a result, at one year of age, only 1% of boys have the condition. […]
The male partner’s role in infertility has, historically, been undervalued and underdiagnosed for cultural and social reasons. However, we are now seeing progress in the analysis of men and a growing interest amongst patients in their fertility issue. Consultations for men with difficulties having children are increasingly common.
The causes of male sterility (male factor) have seen a significant increase over the last few years and are now responsible for up to 50% of cases of sterility in couples. Up to 30% of cases of infertility are due to the male factor alone and in a further 20% of cases there is a combination of both male and female factors. This is why urological examination of the male partner is so important during the couple’s fertility analysis. […]
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. […]
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? […]
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: […]
Azoospermia is defined as the absence of sperm in the ejaculate, which is generally classified as either obstructive or secretory. In obstructive azoospermia, the sperm cells cannot complete their journey from the testicle to the urethra through the seminal tract; however, the sperm cells are produced in the testicle (spermatogenesis). […]
Cystic fibrosis is a chronic and progressive disease that appears in early childhood and affects many organs in the body, (such as the lungs, intestines, pancreas, liver…). The disease causes thick mucus production, which leads to blockages and infections.