A male factor is the only cause of infertility in 30% to 40% of couples.
Most causes of male infertility are treatable, and the goal of many treatments is to restore the ability to conceive naturally. Varicoceles are present in 15% of the normal male population and in approximately 40% of men with infertility. Varicocele is the most common cause of male infertility that can be corrected surgically. In males with azoospermia, the most common cause is post-vasectomy status. Approximately 6% of males who undergo vasectomy eventually seek reversal surgery. Success of vasectomy reversal decreases with the number of years between vasectomy and vasovasostomy. Other causes of obstructive azoospermia include epididymal, vasal or ejaculatory duct abnormalities. Epididymal obstruction is the most common cause of obstructive azoospermia. Patients with epididymal obstruction without other anatomical abnormalities can be considered as candidates for vasoepididymostomy. With microsurgical techniques, success of patency restoration can reach 70~90%. In case of surgically uncorrectable obstructive azoospermia, sperm extraction or aspiration for in vitro fertilization is needed. Nonobstructive azoospermia is the most challenging type of male infertility. However, microsurgical testicular sperm extraction may be an effective method for nonobstructive azoospermia patients.
Lee HS, Seo JT. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Cheil General Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Reference: World J Mens Health. 2012 Aug;30(2):108-13.