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Feature Article

Infertility in men: causes, risk factors, prevention and treatment

RITA UPRETI, IE WEN SIM
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Abstract

Infertility affects one in 20 men and is a contributory factor in one in two couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment (ART). Significantly, although most men can have biological children with ART, comprehensive evaluation of male infertility and general health assessment are important to allow accurate diagnosis, genetic counselling where appropriate and modification of reversible factors. 

Key Points

  • Infertility affects one in 20 men and is a contributory factor in half of all couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatments.
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity and alcohol play an important contributory role.
  • Environmental factors such as endocrine disrupting chemical exposure and exogenous androgen use are increasingly recognised as contributing factors.
  • A detailed history and thorough clinical examination should be followed by semen analysis and assessment of the reproductive axis.
  • Assisted reproductive treatment (ART), particularly intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), allows many men to father children using their own sperm.
  • Microdissection testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) can provide sperm for ICSI in half of men with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA).

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© KATERYNA_KON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM
© KATERYNA_KON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM