IVF for Couples Dealing with Male Factor Infertility – FAQ

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Infertility is a challenging journey faced by individuals and couples around the world. When it comes to male factor infertility, understanding the causes, available treatments, and methods to improve sperm quality becomes crucial. In this article, we will address frequently asked questions about male factor infertility in the context of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. We have interviewed fertility specialists from UR Vistahermosa, a renowned IVF clinic from Spain, to provide expert insights and guidance.

UR Vistahermosa is a leading IVF clinic dedicated to helping individuals and couples overcome fertility challenges, including male factor infertility. With a team of experienced fertility specialists and state-of-the-art technology, UR Vistahermosa provides compassionate care and personalised treatment plans to help patients realize their dream of starting a family.

Let’s explore the frequently asked questions surrounding male factor infertility and IVF treatment.

What is male factor infertility in the context of IVF?

Male factor infertility refers to the inability of a male partner to contribute to conception due to issues with sperm quality, quantity, or function. It can significantly impact a couple’s chances of achieving pregnancy through natural means.

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What are the different types of male infertility that can be diagnosed?

Male infertility can stem from various conditions, such as abnormal sperm production, blockages in the reproductive tract, hormonal imbalances, genetic disorders, or lifestyle factors. A comprehensive diagnosis is crucial to accurately identify the underlying cause.

What type of male factor infertility is most common among patients, and why?

Among male factor infertility cases, low sperm count (oligospermia) is one of the most prevalent issues. Hormonal imbalances, testicular problems, genetic factors, or environmental influences can contribute to this condition. Low sperm count reduces the chances of successful fertilization during IVF.

How many patients experience male factor infertility, and how many such cases does your clinic handle?

According to medical studies on this field as from the Newscastle Univeristy, up to 7% of men worldwide are affected by infertility and 50% of the fertility problems in heterosexual couples are due to the male partner. At UR Vistahermosa, we have successfully treated numerous patients with male factor infertility, leveraging our extensive experience in addressing these specific challenges. Our approach ensures tailored treatment plans for each individual, optimizing their chances of success.

How common is male factor infertility for patients using donor eggs within their treatment?

Male factor infertility can persist even when a patient opts for donor eggs. While the female partner may not have fertility issues, the malefactor can still impact fertilization and embryo development. Thus, addressing male factor infertility is essential during the IVF process, regardless of the source of eggs.

What are the IVF treatment options for patients when male factor infertility is involved?

“In these cases we usually perform a more extensive study on the male partner, to discard genetic alterations, such as FISH or sperm DNA fragmentation. If genetic alterations are present, a genetic study of the embryo is 100% recommended to be sure that chromosomally normal embryos will always be transferred, in order to avoid a future miscarriage or beta negative.”
-Anusha Wilde – International Patient Coordinator

UR Vistahermosa offers various IVF treatment options to overcome male factor infertility:

  • Conventional IVF: Eggs are retrieved from the female partner and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the uterus.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): This technique involves injecting a single sperm directly into each mature egg to facilitate fertilization.
  • Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) or Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA): These procedures retrieve sperm directly from the testes or epididymis when sperm is absent or cannot be ejaculated.
  • Donor Sperm: In cases where the male partner’s sperm is not viable, couples can opt for donor sperm for fertilization.

How is sperm prepared for IVF?

At UR Vistahermosa, we follow a comprehensive approach to sperm preparation for IVF. Techniques such as semen analysis, semen processing, and sperm washing are employed to separate healthy, motile sperm from semen samples. This process ensures the selection of the highest-quality sperm for fertilization by removing seminal fluid, debris, and non-motile sperm.

How can I improve sperm quality?

While not all cases of male factor infertility can be improved, specific lifestyle changes can positively influence sperm quality. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress levels, avoiding excessive heat exposure, and refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help promote better sperm quality. Our fertility specialists can provide personalized recommendations based on individual circumstances.

Can stress affect sperm quality?

Research suggests that chronic stress may hurt sperm quality. High-stress levels can affect hormone production, sperm motility, and sperm count. At UR Vistahermosa, we recognize the influence of stress on fertility and offer stress-management techniques, such as counselling, relaxation exercises, and holistic approaches, to help mitigate its effects on sperm quality.

Male factor infertility can present unique challenges in the IVF journey. By seeking the expertise and guidance of experienced fertility specialists at UR Vistahermosa, patients dealing with male factor infertility can gain valuable insights and explore tailored treatment options. Through advanced techniques and compassionate care, UR Vistahermosa aims to empower individuals and couples, turning their dreams of parenthood into reality. Remember, a consultation with a fertility specialist is crucial for personalized advice based on your specific situation.

Contact UR Vistahermosa directly if you have any questions using the form below.
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    Dr Natalia Szlarb
    Dr Natalia Szlarb
    Dr Natalia Szlarb a Gynaecologist & Fertility Specialist at UR Vistahermosa, Alicante. She graduated from a medical university in Poland in 2002 and then worked in gynaecology and obstetrics wards at several German hospitals. She also participated in international internships in Egypt, Brazil and Poland during her medical studies. In 2011 Dr Szlarb obtained her PhD in Immunology in the United States of America. She has extensive experience in IVF with donor eggs and is known by patients as a friendly and warm doctor. Dr Szlarb speaks fluent English, Polish, German and Russian.

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