Significant medical pathology discovered during a male infertility evaluation

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Because a pregnancy can be achieved without a male infertility evaluation, some have questioned its usefulness. However, by bypassing a urological evaluation the man might not learn the cause of infertility and not be offered specific corrective therapy. In addition, men with subfertility may have a serious underlying medical or genetic problem that could also be overlooked. We determine the incidence of significant medical pathology discovered during a male infertility evaluation at 2 academic infertility practices. Materials and Methods: All men examined for either primary or secondary infertility were included in our study, while men seen for vasectomy reversal were not. All patients underwent evaluation, consisting of a complete history, physical examination, semen analysis, hormone testing, urinalysis and genetic testing when appropriate. Results: Significant medical pathology was discovered in 33 of 536 (6%) patients. A total of 27 patients had genetic abnormalities, including cystic fibrosis mutations in 24 and karyotypic abnormalities in 3. Of the remaining 6 patients 1 had testis cancer, 1 prostate cancer, 3 diabetes mellitus and 1 hypothyroidism. Conclusions: Significant medical pathology can be detected by a male infertility evaluation. In addition to identifying the cause of infertility, the evaluation may uncover conditions that threaten the health of the male partner or any potential offspring.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kolettis PN; Sabanegh ES
  • Start Page

  • 178
  • End Page

  • 180
  • Volume

  • 166
  • Issue

  • 1