Andrology is the speciality dealing with men’s reproductive health. It covers everything related to male fertility and disorders in this field.
For you as a patient, of course, the prime consideration is why your partner is not able to become pregnant. One possible cause can be a disorder affecting Sperm function. In contrast to urologists and dermatologists, we also draw up a so-called functional Semen analysis.
This enables us not only to assess the number of Sperm, their motility and form, but also to ascertain the precise number of properly functioning Sperm by means of a special preparation in which the non-motile Sperm and those whose form is noticeably irregular are separated out.
Up to a while ago, it was only possible to arrive at a prognosis regarding fertility by virtue of the number, form and motility of the Sperm cells. By means of the so-called PICSI hyaluronic binding test it is now possible to recognise mature – and thus properly functioning – Sperm by virtue of their specific membrane-connecting properties. It can be assumed that virtually all Sperm that connect will demonstrate few changes in their genetic information (DNA). Under natural conditions these membrane-binding properties are responsible for a successful Fertilisation of the ovum. It is a known fact that even in a normally fertile man, 40% to 50% of the Sperm cells show changes in their genetic information. By means of the binding test we can identify the Sperm cells with fewer genetic anomalies and select these during treatment if necessary. This will increase the chance of a pregnancy and have a favourable influence on the outcome.
We shall discuss the results of the Semen analysis with you in a personal conversation on our practice premises or, if you prefer, on the phone.
If the Semen analysis reveals irregularities in your case, we shall discuss the situation with you in the first instance in an attempt to discover the causes of the disorder affecting Sperm production. Possible causes could include, for example, your general level of health, your lifestyle, any medicine you may be taking or illness within the family. Other factors which may play a part as potential causes include possible hormonal disorders, hereditary illness and – last but not least – disease in the genital area, including undescended testicles during childhood or youth.
In some cases it may be appropriate to carry out further blood tests and/or a physical examination (palpation and ultrasound examination), or to have a genetic analysis carried out by a human geneticist in order to discover any possible causes. In spite of these elaborate tests, however, it will not be possible to fully clarify the cause of the disorder affecting Sperm production in the case of a large number of patients. To date, treatment options only exist for a small number of disorders of this nature. We shall discuss the next steps with you and will recommend possible treatment upon request (e.g. more detailed examination of your partner, Insemination, IVF or IVF/ICSI).