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Infertility Surgeries for Men

Women used to be blamed for the majority of couples' fertility problems; however, data from the last 20 years of research has proven that a problem in the man alone is found in approximately 30 percent of cases, and in another 20 percent both the man and woman have an abnormality. Therefore, a male problem is at least partly responsible in about 50 percent of infertile couples. Many treatments are available today to diagnose and correct male infertility issues, and many of these require surgery. The following are some of the most common surgeries performed on men who are trying to conceive.

Varicocelectomy - This procedure is performed to treat varicoceles in the testes, which occur when blood flow is backed up, causing an enlarged vein. Varicoceles can reduce sperm production due to increased temperatures in the testicles from the accumulation of blood. Your doctor will tie off blood vessels leading to the testicles to limit blood flow, and then repair the enlarged veins and restore normal blood flow in the area.

Hydrocelectomy- A hydrocele is a collection of fluid around the testicles caused by infection or trauma to the testes or epididymis, or by a blockage in the lymph nodes in the testicle. During a hydrocelectomy, your doctor simply drains the area of fluid, and then removes the hydrocele sac or folds it behind the testicle.

Vasectomy reversal - If you've had a vasectomy but now want children, it can be reversed using vasovasostomy or epididymostomy. In a vasovasostomy, your doctor simply reconnects the ends of your vas deferens. If your vas deferens is blocked, however, you may need an epididymostomy, during which your doctor connects your vas deferens directly to the epididymis, bypassing the blockage and restoring sperm flow.

Epididymal blockage and vas deferens blockage - If your vas deferens or epididymis has become blocked due either to infections from sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, or due to trauma experienced during other surgical procedures, sperm may be prevented from leaving the testes and entering the ejaculate. Vasovasostomy or epididymostomy are used in these instances as with vasectomy reversal.

Ejaculatory duct obstruction - Approximately 10 percent of men whose semen lacks sperm have an ejaculatory duct blockage. This can be caused by surgical scarring during a vasectomy, cancerous tumors, or prostate cysts that press against the ejaculatory duct and prevent sperm from being ejaculated. Your doctor will make a small incision, locate the blockage, and remove it.

Testicular biopsy - Men who don't produce mature sperm are said to suffer from nonobstructive azoospermia. A testicular biopsy may help to diagnose the causal problem. ICSI and IVF are generally used if insufficient numbers of sperm are found during the biopsy.

If you are faced with surgical infertility treatment, talk to your doctor about the procedure and address any questions or concerns you have. Find out how many times the surgeon has performed the particular procedure, what your chances of success are, any risks or possible complications, and how long your recovery time will be.



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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