Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • inability of a couple to conceive
  • vasectomy
  • erectile dysfunction and decreased libido
  • palpable and dilated testicular veins
  • testis atrophy (testis smaller than 20 cm^3)
  • body habitus, abnormal hair distribution, and gynaecomastia
  • absent vasa or epididymis

Other diagnostic factors

  • headaches, galactorrhoea, and visual disturbance
  • anosmia
  • frequent respiratory infections
  • pain, blood, or pus with ejaculation

Risk factors

  • varicocele
  • cryptorchidism
  • prior chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • current medications
  • cystic fibrosis and congenital bilateral absence of vas deferens (CBAVD)
  • Y chromosome abnormalities
  • Klinefelter's syndrome (47,XXY)
  • endocrinopathy
  • genital tract infection
  • erectile dysfunction
  • previous infertility
  • retrograde ejaculation
  • obesity
  • testicular torsion or trauma
  • lifestyle including smoking and alcohol consumption
  • exposure to androgen
  • age >55 years
  • environmental toxin exposure
  • history of CAD or diabetes
  • history of STD
  • hot tub use

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • sperm concentration
  • sperm motility
  • sperm morphology
  • seminal fluid parameters
Full details

Investigations to consider

  • sperm viability
  • sperm membrane function
  • hormonal assays
  • MRI of the pituitary and hypothalamus
  • colour flow Doppler imaging
  • urine testing for retrograde ejaculation
  • genetic analysis
  • sperm DNA assays
  • antisperm antibody serology
  • acrosome reaction test
  • sperm penetration assay (hamster egg penetration test)
  • sperm longevity test
  • electron microscopy
  • testicular biopsy
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Director of Male Reproductive Medicine and Sexual Medicine

Henry Ford Health System

K9 Urology Clinic

Detroit

MI

Disclosures

AAD declares that he has no competing interests.

Medical Director

IVF Michigan Fertility Center

Bloomfield Hills

MI

Disclosures

AOH declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr Ali A. Dabaja and Dr Ahmad O. Hammoud would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Benjamin Emery, the previous contributor to this monograph. BE declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Associate Professor

Division of Urology

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham

AL

Disclosures

PNK declares that he has no competing interests.

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