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Asian J Androl. 2012 Jan;14(1):103-8. doi: 10.1038/aja.2011.65. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

Male factor infertility and ART.

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Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University Hospital of the Dutch-speaking Brussels Free University, Belgium.


For years, the management and treatment of male factor infertility has been 'experience' and not 'evidence' based. Although not evidence-based, current clinical practice involves extensive use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART). Where specific treatments are not indicated or have failed, ART have become popular adjunctive treatments for alleviating male factor infertility. According to the limited evidence available, intrauterine insemination (IUI) may be considered as a first-line treatment in a couple in which the female partner has a normal fertility status and at least 1×10(6) progressively motile spermatozoa are recovered after sperm preparation. If no pregnancy is achieved after 3-6 cycles of IUI, optimized in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be proposed. When less than 0.5×10(6) progressively motile spermatozoa are obtained after seminal fluid processing or sperm are recovered surgically from the testis or epididymis, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) should be performed. Although the outcome of no other ART has ever been scrutinized as much before, no large-scale 'macroproblems' have as yet been observed after ICSI. Yet, ICSI candidates should be rigorously screened before embarking on IVF or ICSI, and thoroughly informed of the limitations of our knowledge on the hereditary aspects of male infertility and the safety aspects of ART.

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