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Abstract

Volume 18, Issue 3 (May 2016) 18, 392–401; DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.179161

Current updates on laboratory techniques for the diagnosis of male reproductive failure

Suresh C Sikka, Wayne JG Hellstrom

Department of Urology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Correspondence: Dr. SC Sikka (ssikka@tulane.edu)

08-Apr-2016

Abstract

The incidence of male reproductive failure leading to infertility, whether due to delayed parenthood, environmental issues, genetic factors, drugs, etc., is increasing throughout the world. The diagnosis and prognosis of male subfertility have become a challenge. While the basic semen assessment has been performed for many years, a number of studies question the value of the traditional semen characteristics. This is partly due to inadequate methods and standardization, limited knowledge of technical requirements for quality assurance, and an incomplete understanding of what clinical information a semen assessment can provide. Laboratories currently performing semen and endocrine assessment show great variability. The World Health Organization (WHO) manual for the evaluation of semen has been the core of andrology and fertility evaluation that has helped in further development of this field over many years. These include the physical appearance of the ejaculate, assessments of sperm count, motility, vitality, morphology, and functional aspects of the sperm and semen sample. These tests also include male endocrine profile, biochemical evaluation of the semen, detection of antisperm antibodies in serum, the use of computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA), sperm DNA integrity, and its damage due to oxidative stress. Assisted reproductive techniques (e.g., IVF, ICSI) have shown great success but are too expensive. Further development in this field with newer techniques and extensive training/instructions can improve accuracy and reduce variability, thus maintaining the quality and standards of such an evaluation. There is an urgent need to have standardized training centers and increased awareness in this area of men's health for reproductive success.

Keywords: male infertility; quality control management; reproductive failure; semen evaluation; World Health Organization manual

Keywords: Keywords: male infertility; quality control management; reproductive failure; semen evaluation; World Health Organization manual

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