Father’s Day Can Be Tough for Men with Male Factor Infertility

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Shady Grove Fertility Helps a Man with a Rare Case Succeed

Shady Grove Fertility Celebrating 20 Years, 27,000 Babies Born
Obtaining a complete and reliable semen analysis at the outset of a couple’s infertility evaluation is a critical part of every basic infertility work-up.

While most people perceive that infertility is mainly a woman’s problem, male factor is the primary cause in 40% of all infertility cases, while an additional 10% of cases are a combination of male and female factor infertility. Shady Grove Fertility helps couples overcome male factor infertility with the use of specialized testing and progressive treatment options. Patients with a male factor diagnosis have a 62% chance of getting pregnant per cycle at Shady Grove Fertility.

“Obtaining a complete and reliable semen analysis at the outset of a couple’s infertility evaluation is a critical part of every basic infertility work-up,” states Naveed Khan, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Shady Grove Fertility Center. “This simple test allows us to examine the semen sample in a number of different ways, offering insight into the likelihood of male factor infertility. A woman should really not initiate fertility treatment without having her male partner complete a semen analysis first.”

In the case of Shady Grove Fertility patients Abbey and Scott Conley, an anatomical problem with Scott was the cause of the couple’s fertility issues. After both Scott’s initial and follow-up semen analyses came back showing no sperm, his urologist determined that Scott was born without a vas deferens - the tube that carries the sperm from the testicles to the urethra during ejaculation. Although Scott said that the diagnosis felt like a “punch in the gut,” it helped him to realize that it’s not always the woman who has the fertility problem.

“I always assumed that Abbey’s inability to get pregnant was due to something that was happening with her,” he said. “Within five minutes of sitting with the urologist I knew that the fertility issue lied with me. It was really scary to sit there and think ‘I may not be able to father a child.’ Dr. Khan assured me that despite the severity of our diagnosis, there were still options to help us have a family.”

While the cause of male factor infertility is often unknown, many known causes include anatomical or structural problems, sperm production disorders that lead to abnormally shaped sperm that are not able to move well or immune system disorders that cause men to develop antibodies to their own sperm which can then attack and weaken the sperm.

Depending on the severity of the male factor, a physician may recommend simple treatments such as sperm washing for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or advanced treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with or without Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) - the process of inserting a single sperm into the egg.

Scott underwent a procedure called PESA (Percutaneous Epidydimal Sperm Aspiration or Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)) where sperm is removed directly from the testicles. “PESA is a fairly simple procedure that offers great success rates when combined with IVF and ICSI. In the past, the only solution for severe male factor infertility was the use of donor sperm. With today’s technology, we only need access to one healthy sperm to help a couple conceive.” Scott and Abby are currently 10 weeks pregnant with their first child.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Scott said. “Father’s Day is going to take on a whole new meaning for me this year. I’m so thankful that I live in a time where technology is so advanced that almost anyone with any type of infertility diagnosis can get pregnant.”

For more information on male infertility, visit http://www.shadygrovefertility.com/webform/male-infertility-webcast to sign-up for Shady Grove Fertility’s live Male Infertility Webcast on Tuesday, June 21 from 7 – 8 PM ET.

About Shady Grove Fertility
Shady Grove Fertility Center is the largest and one of the most progressive fertility and IVF Centers in the United States. Twenty-three reproductive endocrinologists, as well as PhD scientists, geneticists, and 420 highly specialized staff care for patients in 13 full-service offices throughout the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Shady Grove Fertility conducts clinical research in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and is part of their subspecialty training Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology. Shady Grove Fertility has pioneered a number of nationally and internationally recognized programs, such as Shared Risk 100% Refund Program, Shared Donor Egg, International Donor Egg, and Shared Help, among others. Since Shady Grove Fertility’s inception in 1991, more than 27,000 babies have been born. Shady Grove Fertility is a member of the Attain Fertility Network.


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Allison Metzger

Josh Sekine
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