The management of male subfertility by in vitro fertilisation techniques.

G. Kovacs, R. McLachlan, D. deKretser

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    Although IVF was developed for the treatment of tubal infertility, it is clear that it has a significant application in treatment of couples where the problem is one of male subfertility. This is particularly relevant because, despite the developments in reproductive medicine, in most males there is no identifiable cause for the poor semen quality. Therefore, for these men there is no efficacious method of treatment. Varicocele ligation and the use of agents such as clomiphene citrate, mesterolone empirical antibiotic therapy, and anabolic steroids have not been show to be beneficial when subject to controlled trials. The concept of improving the chance of fertilisation by taking the oocytes to the sperm in vitro is therefore the first feasible therapeutic option available to these subfertile couples. However, these possibilities should not obviate the need for a thorough assessment of the subfertile male and continuing research into the basis of male infertility. During the past decade new methods of sperm preparation, modified methods of insemination, and the use of microinjection have been developed. IVF is now a realistic option for couples if the male is subfertile. It has been suggested by some critics of these techniques that the brunt of the discomfort and risk has to be borne by the women where the problem appears to be solely with the male partner. Nevertheless, as having children is a 'couple' decision, prospective couples need to consider whether such procedures are acceptable to them.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-385
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian Family Physician
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

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