Dr. Marks and the Arizona Andrology Laboratory and Cryobank are dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of men with abnormal sperm parameters.
Couples who have been unable to conceive after several months of properly timed intercourse should initiate both a male and female fertility evaluation. When couples are unable to get pregnant, the woman usually initiates medical intervention through her gynecologist.
Unfortunately, the male partner is often ignored or bypassed when determining reasons for infertility, not allowing several treatable conditions to be discovered. Nearly 50% of the time, a couples' infertility is the result of some aspect of the man's semen quality. Oftentimes, by overlooking these treatable conditions, women are prematurely encouraged to move on to more invasive and costly fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization.
The routine and nationally recommended male evaluation begins with two separate semen analyses performed by a qualified andrology lab, a physical exam and routine fertility hormonal analysis. Often, the man will have one semen analysis checked at his wife's doctor and be given no follow-up even if an abnormality is discovered. Following two semen analyses, the physical exam and andrologic hormonal testing, the patient will be given recommendations for medications, lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements such as Proxeed™, or possibly additional tests that may lead to surgically correctable sources of subfertility. Most interventions are recommended for 3-month intervals, as the sperm life cycle is just under 3 months.
Azoospermia (zero sperm seen) must be evaluated by a male fertility specialist, as up to 25% of these men have an underlying genetic abnormality than can be inherited by their children. This population of men needs genetic testing prior to sperm acquisition procedures and assisted reproductive technologies. Men who have been treated with chemotherapy or radiation who have zero sperm also need an evaluation and counseling. Up to 40% of men with zero sperm seen will have pockets of sperm production within their testis that can only be discovered through microscopic testicular extraction (TESE). Sperm from these pockets can then be cryo-preserved or used immediately in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization. Dr. Burrows, who is one of less than 100 urologists in the U.S. who have taken extra time (fellowship) to learn the intricacies of male factor infertility, is on the consultation staff at The International Center for Vasectomy Reversal to provide medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for these male factor infertility problems.