Approximately 50 million couples around the world cannot conceive naturally and male factor infertility is a leading cause.
According to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction, the quality of human sperm in developed countries has decreased by more than 50% in the last 40 years.
Generally, when couples are faced with infertility issues, it is often assumed that the failure is due to a factor associated with the woman. However, we know that this is not always the case, as 40% of couples suffer specifically with male factor infertility, 40% from female factor infertility, and the remaining 20% of couples suffer with both male and female infertility factors. Poor sperm quality is the most common cause of male factor infertility. A semen analysis can be performed to evaluate quality by measuring sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. Understanding these parameters is important, as low levels can lead to outcomes such as inability of the sperm to fertilize an egg.
There are many causes that can lead to poor sperm quality, however the most frequent are:
• Infections and presence of antibodies in the body
• Thyroid related problems
• Drug use (including tobacco)
• Certainmedications that can cause side effects
• Prolonged exposure to contaminants
• Chromosomal and / or genetic alteration
• The pituitary and hypothalamus regulate the hormones that control sperm creation from the brain. A malfunction of these glands affects the entire process Malfunction of the pituitary and/hypothalamus (regulators of the hormones that control sperm creation)
• Problems in the testicles, such as underdevelopment and irregular development.
What are the main symptoms and treatments?
Signs such as an extremely low libido, erectile dysfunction, excessively small testicle size, or alteration in semen (watery, clear color, strong odor) may be indicative of male infertility factor. However, in many cases, male factor is asymptomatic and is only discovered after a couple has attempted to conceive without success If a couple is having difficultly conceiving, then it is advised to consult with a reproductive specialist to undergo the tests necessary to confirm or rule out potential problems. The treatments for male infertility factor are very different depending on the diagnosis. In milder cases, forgoing bad habits, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising regularly may be enough to notice improvements. In other cases, drug treatment with hormones or surgery may be necessary fix the problem. In more severe cases, it maybe necessary to undergo assisted reproduction and fertility treatments in order to achieve pregnancy.
IGENOMIX: SAT Test and PGT-A
The Sperm Aneuploidy Test (SAT) is a diagnostic test to help study the genetic origin of male infertility.
This test evaluates the percentage of spermatozoa with chromosomal abnormalities in a semen sample.
It analyzes some of the chromosomes most commonly implicated in spontaneous miscarriages and the chromosomes that have the potential to lead to the birth of an affected children with chromosomal abnormalities (chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X and Y).
The SAT Test is a useful tool that can provide personalized genetic information to the infertile couple prior to their fertility treatment.
Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies (PGT-A) is a genetic test used to screen embryos, produced during IVF treatment, in order to identify numerical chromosome aneuploidies (abnormalities). This test may be indicated for couples affected by male factor infertility.
This test identifies chromosomally normal embryos and can help improve your chances for a healthy ongoing pregnancy and baby.