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

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Increasing Male Fertility

Millions of couples each year decide it is time to start a family. A substantial percentage of those find that after several years of successful family planning to avoid conception, getting pregnant can be elusive and seemingly impossible. In these situations, infertility responsibility should not merely fall to the female, for research has shown that male infertility shares the burden of conceptive issues. In fact, male infertility has shown to be a contributive factor in 50% of all infertility cases and the sole reason for unsuccessful conception in nearly 33% of all infertility cases. Male partners must be conscious of their lifestyle in order to put their best sperm forward that will prove viable and capable of making contact with their partners’ eggs and flourish.

Many men are less fertile because of their negligible diets. Eating potato chips, drinking beer, and sitting on the couch each and every day does not provide the due diligence necessary to be a productive partner for the female you care for and want to start a family with. Men need to be more conscious of their diets. Diets rich in zinc provided by multi-grain cereal, seafood, and eggs, have shown to increase sperm production in healthy men and increase viable sperm production in less fertile men as well. Men should also consistently eat 5 servings or more of fruits and vegetables daily to help promote motility in their sperm. A diet rich in antioxidants can help men produce vigorous and healthy sperm that will have no trouble wriggling their way through their partners’ vaginas and ultimately fertilizing an egg.

Daily exercise is not only helpful at keeping obesity and that unsightly paunch at bay, regular exercise has been shown to help relieve the stress and anxiety which often affects fertility in both men and women. Men should exercise at least 45 minutes, 5 times a week to help promote a healthy body weight and increased sperm production, not to mention its positive affects on male libido. Research is split over cycling however, with studies showing that the friction the testicles are subjected to can increase their temperature and cause lower sperm counts.

As always, the use of tobacco products, excessive drinking, and illicit drug use are not good for the body, male or female. Men should abstain from use of these recreational substances as part of their conscious effort to help with conception.

Male fertility can be increased by simply adapting better food and exercise choices. It is only fair that fertility responsibility be shared by a hopeful couple as they look forward to the future of shared responsibility that is parenting.

About the Author: Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading provider of semen analysis and male infertility treatment. For more information, please visit

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Semen Analysis

For couples facing infertility, it is necessary for both partners to undergo equally thorough examinations. Male factors are found to be the sole cause of infertility in one third of couples, and are in combination with female factors in over half of all infertility cases. This usually comes down to problems related to semen production or delivery. Typically a thorough medical history is taken, and a semen analysis is done. The semen analysis test is the best way to help doctors determine whether or not a man’s sperm has the ability to fertilize an egg.

While a woman is born with all the eggs she will have in her lifetime, the male testes are continually producing sperm by a process known as spermatogenesis. It takes about three months for spermatozoa to reach maturity. Abnormalities at any point in this process can contribute to the male factor infertility.

The semen analysis test is simple. For a proper analysis, two samples should be taken at different times with at least 48 hours between ejaculations. The samples are measured, put on slides, and examined under a microscope. An individual’s test results can vary significantly, and a single abnormal result may be no cause for alarm, only an indication for further testing. A wide range of factors based on genetics, lifestyle, and presence of various medical conditions can affect the quality of sample as well. Five major factors that contribute to sperm quality are: sperm count, concentration, motility, speed, and morphology or shape.

Sperm count is the number of sperm present in a sample. Normal samples will contain around 40 million spermatozoa. Some causes for low sperm count may be exposure to excessive heat or radiation, drug use, consumption of alcohol, smoking, previous medical surgeries, or infection. Concentration refers to the amount of sperm present per millilitre of ejaculate. Results can range between 2 million/ml and 300 million/ml, but average around 40 million/ml. Conditions such as azoospermia, where sperm is produced but unable to mix with the ejaculate, contribute to low sperm count. Motility describes the sperm’s ability to move in fluid, or its “swimming ability”. This enables the sperm to make the journey through the uterus and fallopian tubes to penetrate the egg. In healthy samples at least half the sperm should be active. Speed is a measure of the forward progress a sperm makes. The morphology of a sperm should be similar to that of a tadpole. The genetic material is contained in the head while the tail provides propulsion.

Comparing these factors to set standards helps fertility specialists target possible causes of male infertility. A closer look at specific areas is necessary to develop the most effective infertility treatment plan.

About the Author:

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about male infertility. For more information, please visit

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