Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Male Factor Infertility

Male infertility

When a couple has been trying to get pregnant for a long time, the partners often try to figure out the reason for their lack of success. Statistically, the reason involves male infertility about one third of the time, female infertility about one third of the time, and a combination of male and female infertility factors the remaining one third of the time. Consulting with a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility expert can significantly help to determine the range of causes and develop an infertility treatment plan.

Male infertility can be due to difficulty in completing intercourse, an inability of the sperm to live within the female reproductive tract long enough to fertilize the egg within the fallopian tube, or a problem with the production of normal sperm.

Difficulty with completing intercourse can be due to an erectile or an ejaculatory problem. Sometimes these problems can be effectively treated with medication. When treatment is not possible, but the man is able to produce a semen sample into a container, then intrauterine inseminations (IUI) that are timed at ovulation are often effective.

The sperm normally fertilizes the egg within the woman’s fallopian tube. There is usually a tremendous decrease in the number of motile sperm along this journey from the initial placement within the vagina (where sperm is usually destroyed within about one hour due to a difference in acidity between the semen fluid and the vaginal vault) to residing within the uterine cervical mucus (where sperm can usually survive comfortably for several days) to passage through the uterus and into the fallopian tube. Generally, it is estimated that if 50 million sperm are placed within the vaginal vault during intercourse only a few thousand of these sperm ever reach the fallopian tube, where they have a chance to fertilize the egg. When this type of male factor is a cause of infertility, then IUI (intrauterine insemination) procedures to place the sperm near the egg at the time of ovulation can be helpful.

The semen analysis is the most common test to determine whether normal sperm are being produced. The major variables that are tested include volume (amount of semen in the ejaculate), concentration (number of sperm per unit volume of semen), motility (percent of sperm that are moving), and morphology (shape of the sperm present). When these numbers fall within the normal range for semen analysis, the sperm is thought to be “good.” But really only a history of proven fertility, such as having achieved a pregnancy with someone in the past or having fertilization at IVF (in vitro fertilization), demonstrates that the sperm is actually capable of fertilizing a human egg. For most mild to moderate male infertility problems involving the production of normal sperm, IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a reasonable treatment alternative. If there is a severe male infertility problem with the sperm, then ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which is a form of assisted fertilization) or the use of donor sperm may need to be considered.


Dr. Eric Daiter at The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC has extensive experience with male infertility and has personally performed thousands of semen analyses. He would be happy to help you. For an appointment to discuss your situation with Dr. Daiter, please call the office at 908 226 0250. Visit us on the web at http://www.drericdaitermd.com/or http://www.ericdaiter.com

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Test Tube Babies

When most people hear the phrase “test tube baby” they may conjure up an image of an X-files episode where special agents Dana Sculley and Fox Mulder discover a secret underground laboratory filled with row upon row of genetically engineered fetuses growing in large cylindrical tubes. The common misconception is that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a purely scientific procedure with little with the biological parents. This infertility treatment is ideal for couples who have been unsuccessful with other methods of assisted reproductive treatments.
The phrase “test tube baby” is an informal term which refers to a baby conceived in a tube-shaped glass commonly found in biology labs. In vitro fertilization usually takes place in a shallower container called a petri dish. The term “In vitro” refers to a biological procedure that is performed outside the living organism where it would normally occur. In this case, the ova and sperm are removed from their normal hosts and placed in a fluid medium to allow the sperm to fertilize the egg. The fertilized egg, or embryo, is then transferred back to the woman’s uterus. Since in vitro fertilization is a more expensive infertility treatment, it is usually recommended only when less expensive options have failed.
IVF requires a healthy egg and viable sperm, as well as a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy. A woman’s age is a major factor in the success rate of IVF. Pregnancy achieved through IVF for woman under the age of 35 is approximately 43% in the U.S. Success rates begin to drop significantly over the age of 35 and women over 40 attain pregnancy only 4% of the time. There are a vast number of factors involved, some of which are not fully understood, and reasons for failure are many. Embryos may not develop properly, or may not implant once inserted into the uterus. Experienced physicians have higher success rates. It is best if the woman’s own eggs are used. Often multiple embryos are transferred to the uterus to increase the likelihood of pregnancy; however, this practice creates a higher risk of multiple pregnancy.
While the actual conception takes place in a “test tube”, IVF is a complex and involved process for couples trying to conceive. Extensive testing and screening is done to ensure the best success for clients considering IVF as an infertility treatment. Although it can be extremely challenging physically and emotionally, giving birth to a “miracle” child is just the beginning of a life of unforgettable experiences.


About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to explain in vitro fertilization test in plain language. To review this information, please visit www.infertilitytutorials.com.

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