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Male Reproductive Health

40% of infertility problems are male related.

  • Approximately 1 in 6 couples experience fertility problems.

  • 40% of infertility problems are male related.

  • 40% of infertility problems are female related.

  • 20% of infertility problems are a combination of both male and female.

  • Approximately 60% of  all couples with fertility problems have male factor issues.

The male reproductive system is made up of the scrotum, testicles, vas deferens, epididymis, seminal vesicles, prostate gland, penis, and urethra. The reproductive system is controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. The testicles are located in the scrotum (the loose pouch of skin that hangs behind the penis). The testicles are made up of Leydig cells (cells that produce the male hormone – testosterone) and germ cells (cells that produce sperm).

Sperm DNA Structure and Function

Sperm are essentially made up of two components:

  1. The DNA (the message) that combines with the DNA from an egg to create an embryo 

  2. The proteins that make up the sperm (the vehicle) whose job it is to house, protect and deliver the message (DNA).


Most sperm tests look almost exclusively at the vehicle to assess things like how many, what shape and how the sperm bind to the egg. Sperm DNA tests look at the message to make sure it can be opened and read properly once it has reached its destination, the egg.

Any patient with a positive response on these questions should be counseled to disassociate himself from any environmental or life-style exposure; sperm enhancement treatments should also be considered. These treatments should be followed by a repeat set after 10 weeks (the time needed for a complete spermatogenic cycle).

The 3 MRH Panel Tests include:

  1. Sperm DNA Accelerated Decondensation (SDAD) Test

  2. Sperm DNA Decondensation (SDD) Test

  3. Sperm Chromatin Fragmentation Assay (SCFA)

Any condition that interferes with a male’s ability to initiate a pregnancy with the female partner. Essentially it is due to the fact that a man has too few healthy sperm in their semen that are capable of fertilizing an egg through sexual intercourse. There are a wide range of causes that can be tested for and are due to genetics, hormonal disorders, sperm function or sperm quantitative/qualitative features

Occupational related exposures to reproductive toxicants that if identified can often be reversed by having the patient removed from the exposure for 3 months which is the time it takes a male to have a complete turnover of his sperm. 

The SDD Test is used to identify patients whose sperm are incapable of normal decondensation and, therefore, proper embryonic development.

Identifies chromosomal abnormalities and DNA mutations that correlate with various infertility related disorders. The effects can range from causing a spontaneous abortion to having no sperm production capabilities.

During the diagnostic work-up various blood tests have to be conducted prior to assisted reproduction attempts in order to verify the presence or absence of various infectious diseases. Having one of these infections could be a contributing factor to a couple’s infertility issues thereby affecting the outcome of an assisted reproduction attempt. Another important reason for this testing is the fact that many of these infections can be passed along to the baby, potentially jeopardizing their health and the pregnancy.

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