Andrology - Urology
Urology is the science of studying and treating diseases or disorders related to the urinary system of both males and females, as well as specific male genital and reproductive problems, such as:
– Urine infections/cystitis.
– Prostate illnesses
– Phimosis or Frenulum breve.
– Urinary incontinence.
– Sexually Transmitted Infections.
It is the branch of Urology that studies, examines and investigates everything related to male sexuality and reproduction. It also covers disorders of the male reproductive organs and possible causes of infertility. It studies the morphology, functions and different anomalies of the male genital organs; thus, it goes beyond the mere study of sperm quality or quantity.
A semen analysis is a study of a sperm sample, assessing both macroscopic and microscopic characteristics. The macroscopic characteristics include volume, colour, smell, viscosity, pH, liquefaction, etc.
The microscopic observations include counting the sperm concentration, and studying their motility and morphology. The sperm vitality percentage (percentage of live sperm) is also very important.
A good semen analysis helps us to offer the correct recommendation of the steps to follow in order to achieve a pregnancy.
All semen analyses performed at Invitam come with a clear and easy to understand report. If you want, our medical team will give you a more in-depth explanation of the results.
The sperm bank is a service offered by Invitam to preserve samples by freezing them in liquid nitrogen and maintain part of the initial vitality over time.
The sperm bank has two different features:
– Patient Sperm Bank
The Patient Sperm Bank stores frozen sperm samples from males who wish to preserve their sperm in case they experience reduced sperm quality in the future.
The freezing process means that when the sample is defrozen, the number of sperms with good motility will be reduced. This is why the samples must have a high number of sperms before freezing.
This process is intended for patients, who due to illnesses, work or personal choice, are at risk of experiencing a decrease in sperm quality and who wish to have children in the future:
– Donor Sperm Bank
The Donor Sperm Bank is intended for:
– Single women.
– Homosexual women.
– Couples where the male has a severe sperm pathology.
– Couples with recurrent failure of IVF techniques.
– Couples where the male is HIV seropositive.
– Carriers of genetic disorders which cannot be treated with PGD as yet.
SPERM DNA FRAGMENTATION
It is common practice in fertility studies to analyse the sperm quality of the male. A basic semen analysis provides the sperm concentration, motility and morphology. A specialist centre can also provide a count of moving sperms after sperm preparation. This test provides guidance as to what assisted reproduction technique to apply to that couple. However, it is not possible to assess DNA quality with these parameters. When the DNA is fragmented, the egg fertilisation rate is lower, the embryo quality is worse and the number of failed cycles increases.
Sperm DNA fragmentation is an important factor in male infertility, given that 25% of infertile men have high DNA fragmentation. Even the 10% of men with normal semen analysis have high fragmentation.
The causes that can increase this fragmentation rate are:
– High testicular temperature due to, for example, febrile episodes, presence of a varicocele, certain jobs or even the use of tight clothing.
– Use of medications: certain antidepressants and antibiotics can lead to increased fragmentation.
– Old age: Fragmentation increases with age.
– Infections: For example, chlamydia trachomatis.
– Exposure to environmental and occupational contaminants, such as pesticides or high levels of pollution.
For this reason, it is important to assess the DNA fragmentation when conducting an assisted reproduction treatment. This test is performed more commonly during fertility studies.
When the result is positive, the possibility of treatment with antioxidants to reduce it can be considered, other tests can be performed to check other genetic factors or advanced sperm selection techniques, such as annexin columns or microfluidic devices can be used.