The Institut Marques in Barcelona has recently presented a report that shows how 71% of couples with infertility longstanding cause is male. Despite this high incidence, in many countries the male factor is not studied in depth and most of the couples affected (81% according to this work) has to even consider egg donation due to the years spent without an accurate diagnosis while the women eggs were getting older.
The study reviewed 701 cases of patients who have been looking for pregnancy from 8 to 30 years, with a women average age of 41 and about 5 previous treatments failed.
64% of these patients with a male origin problem achieved pregnancy in the first cycle in 7 out of 10 cases. In most cases, the treatment required egg donation, which could have been avoided with an earlier study of the male infertility.
The report has been presented this weekend at the Congress of the Spanish Association of Andrology (ASESA) held in Gran Canaria. The head of Assisted Reproduction Institute and author of the study, Marisa López-Teijón, has criticized the “lack of studies and assessments” in men in many countries.
Among couples attending fertility treatment, the man is responsible for at least 50% of cases. In 30% of cases it is solely responsible, and 20% is shared responsibility with women. However, most of the fertility centers have no andrologist in their team, so the study of the male factor is insufficient or nonexistent in many cases.
The seminogram or semen analysis test is still the basis of male factor analysis. But the information provided only allows an evaluation of whether the chances of pregnancy are normal or reduced naturally. When these chances are reduced the tendency is then to quickly apply assisted reproduction techniques, without investigating deeper into the possible causes responsible or associated with the disorder.