Common Male Conditions

What are my treatment options if my partner has poor sperm count?

It depends on the severity of abnormal sperm count. Borderline abnormal sperm count can be treated with IUI, but for severe cases of male infertility, IVF or utilizing ICSI (intra-cytoplasm sperm injection) by injecting sperm into the oocyte to fertilize the oocyte is usually the treatment of choice.

Common Male Conditions

What can improve semen count?

Staying away from tobacco

Maintain a healthy weight and BMI

Assessment by Urologist to possible medical reasons

Talk to doctor about medications that can affect sperm count

Limit alcohol

Steer clear of recreative drugs

Avoid exposure to Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) including plastics marked with a ‘PC’ for canned food which have BPA (Bisphenol A).

What are risk factors that can lower sperm count?

Smoking tobacco

– Overweight

– Varicocele

– Blockage or defects of tubules that transport sperm

– Infections that can cause inflammation of testicles and epididymis

– Previous trauma, surgery to the testicles

– History of undescended testicles

– Taking medications such as Testosterone, long-term steroids and certain antifungal and antibiotic medications can impair sperm production.

– Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy

What are fertility treatment options if the partner had a vasectomy?

You have two options: a vasectomy reversal or sperm aspiration prior to IVF treatment. Which procedure is better for you and your partner will base on: How long it has been since the vasectomy; You and your partner’s age; How quickly you want to conceive a child, either naturally or through IVF?

Vasectomy reversal vs IVF treatment, which one is better?

Factors that influence the success of the vasectomy reversal procedure include the surgeon’s skill, interval of obstruction and type of procedure. Reversal procedure does become more technically challenging as the years of vasectomy increases.

Although successful return of sperm can be seen in ~ 80% of patients, pregnancy rate after procedure varies between 30% to 70%, which is also impacted by female partner’s age and fertility potential.

Before you choose vasectomy reversal, we recommend that the female partner be seen to make sure she has no fertility issues that would prevent her from getting pregnant naturally.

Since it takes an average of 12 months for conception to occur after a successful vasectomy reversal, for couples who concern about female partner’s age and ovarian reserve, or female partner may have infertility issues that need to be addressed, proceeding with IVF treatment and sperm aspiration from testicle or epididymis would be a better option.

How is sperm aspirated prior to an IVF treatment?

This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia in the office. A tiny needle is used to remove sperm directly from each vas deferens close to the testicle, or directly from each testicle (Testicular sperm extraction, TESE). Most men have some discomfort or minor pain after this procedure, which typically lasts a few days and can be well controlled by oral pain pills.

The sperm is then used to fertilize the partner’s eggs in the IVF laboratory. The sperm can be aspirated either on the day of the egg retrieval or in advance and frozen for a future IVF cycle.

IVF treatment with sperm aspiration is highly successful. It will take less time for the female partner to get pregnant. It is also a less invasive procedure for the male partner, compared with vasectomy reversal procedure. The female partner will undergo IVF treatment, which means more than one embryo could be created if you want to have more than one child for your family.