The Male Fertility Factor
Nov 01 • 2017

Despite common misconceptions, fertility problems are just as likely to be male in origin as they are female. Men are half of the fertility equation, and a low sperm count or poor sperm quality is the cause of infertility in about 25% of couples with fertility problems in the UK.

However, the work-up and evaluation of men can often be neglected when compared to the tests their female partners go through. At Lister Fertility Clinic, we believe a Male MOT is an essential part of assessing a couples’ fertility. The Male MOT at the Lister is a multi-speciality undertaking involving dedicated gynaecological, urological and embryological staff. Throughout the process both partners are supported by suitable counselling, both fertility and genetic, where needed.       

In cases where a significant male factor problem has been identified, treatments such as ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) have allowed couples to achieve success similar to those with other causes of subfertility. Couples prepare for ICSI in the same way as for standard IVF; however a single motile morphologically normal sperm is carefully identified and injected directly into the centre of each mature egg. As very few sperm are required for the ICSI process, it is recommended for patients with low sperm count, abnormal sperm and when sperm has been surgically retrieved either from the epididymis or testicle itself.

For those who have a history of recurrent implantation failures, ICSI failures and severe teratospermia (abnormal sperm shape), IMSI (Intracytoplasmic Morphological Sperm Injection) may be recommended. IMSI is a modification of the ICSI technique where sperm samples are examined under a microscope that is almost 6000 times more powerful. Under this higher power the embryologist can identity tiny defects in the sperm head that would have not been visible with standard ICSI. 

The Lister Fertility Clinic, part of HCA Healthcare UK, aims to provide exceptional care to our exceptional patients, to find out more about the about the male pathway at the clinic, book your appointment with one of our consultants.

As part of National Fertility Awareness Week, Fertility Network UK’s #FertilityFellas campaign aims to share the often unheard male voices and ensure men are able to access the fertility support and advice they need. Unlimited support it also available to Lister Fertility Clinic patients throughout their treatment, take a look at our Support Hub to find out more.