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(1/34) The reactive oxygen species-total antioxidant capacity score is a new measure of oxidative stress to predict male infertility.

The imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in seminal fluid indicates oxidative stress and is correlated with male infertility. A composite ROS-TAC score may be more strongly correlated with infertility than ROS or TAC alone. We measured ROS, TAC, and ROS-TAC scores in semen from 127 patients and 24 healthy controls. Of the patients, 56 had varicocele, eight had varicocele with prostatitis, 35 had vasectomy reversals, and 28 had idiopathic infertility. ROS levels were higher among infertile men, especially those with varicocele with prostatitis (mean +/- SE, 3.25 +/- 0.89) and vasectomy reversals (2.65 +/- 1.01). All infertile groups had significantly lower ROS-TAC scores than control. ROS-TAC score identified 80% of patients and was significantly better than ROS at identifying varicocele and idiopathic infertility. The 13 patients whose partners later achieved pregnancies had a mean ROS-TAC score of 47.7 +/- 13.2, similar to controls but significantly higher than the 39 patients who remained infertile (35.8 +/- 15.0; P < 0.01). ROS-TAC score is a novel measure of oxidative stress and is superior to ROS or TAC alone in discriminating between fertile and infertile men. Infertile men with male factor or idiopathic diagnoses had significantly lower ROS-TAC scores than controls, and men with male factor diagnoses that eventually were able to initiate a successful pregnancy had significantly higher ROS-TAC scores than those who failed.  (+info)

(2/34) The varicocele dilemma.

There is probably no subject that is more controversial in the area of male infertility than varicocele. The overwhelming majority of non-urologist infertility specialists in the world are extremely sceptical of the role of varicocele or varicocelectomy in the treatment of male infertility. Directors of most assisted reproductive technologies (ART) programmes view the enthusiasm with which urologists approach varicocelectomy as a potential impediment to the couple that is getting older and do not have much time left to become pregnant using ART. There are many credible, well-controlled studies which show no effect of varicocelectomy on fertility. There are also a few 'controlled' studies that favour varicocelectomy, but all can be criticised on the basis of patient selection bias. Thus the great weight of evidence from controlled studies is against varicocelectomy and the reports supporting varicocelectomy are extremely weak. Finally, the reports that semen parameters are improved by varicocelectomy is flawed by uncontrolled observations and the failure to take into account the variability of semen analysis in infertile men and its regression toward the mean. Many control studies have demonstrated that, because of this variability, men with an initially low sperm count tend later to have higher sperm counts in the absence of any treatment whatsoever.  (+info)

(3/34) Sperm function tests after vasovasostomy.

AIM: To evaluate the sperm function after vasovasostomy. METHODS: Semen samples from 42 subjects after vasovasostomy (Group A: 1-6 months, Group B: 6-12 months; Group C: 12-18 months after vasectomy reversal) were investigated. Semen from 34 normal fertile men was used as controls. Sperm function tests, including hypoosmotic swelling test (HOST), acridine orange (AO) fluorescence, acrosome reaction (triple-stain), cervical mucus penetration test (CMPT), etc were done. RESULTS: After vasectomy reversal, the percentage of HOST was significantly lower than that of the normal fertile men. In regard to AO, there were no significant differences between the three vasovasostomy groups and between these 3 groups and the controls. With triple-stain, the percentage of normal acrosome reaction was significantly lower in Group A as compared with the controls, but not in Groups B and C. There were no significant differences in the results of CMPT between the vasovasostomy groups and the controls. However, the number of "poor" type was significantly higher in Groups A and C than in the controls; the percentage of "negative" type were higher in Groups A and B than in the controls. CONCLUSION: After vasovasostomy a lower level of HOST remained for one year and gradually recovered after one year. Six months after vasectomy reversal, the percentage of acrosome reaction could be changed from lower level to normal range. The data of AO indicated that the genetic material (double-stranded DNA) in spermatozoa was not affected by vasovasostomy. To evaluate the result of CMPT after vasectomy reversal, not only the normal results but also the abnormal results ("poor" and "negative" types) should also be considered.  (+info)

(4/34) Use of antisperm antibodies in differential display Western blotting to identify sperm proteins important in fertility.

BACKGROUND: Antisperm antibodies (ASA) may be an important cause of infertility but current tests for the detection of ASA have poor prognostic value. The inadequacy of current tests may reflect the inability of these tests to define the antigenic specificity of the sperm proteins with which the ASA react. Identification of the sperm proteins that ASA bind to is a necessary preliminary step to the development of more useful diagnostic tests for ASA. METHODS: A sensitive Western blotting technique was used to compare the antigenic specificities of ASA from men who were infertile (n = 6) with those who were fertile following vasectomy reversal (n = 3). Normal fertile men (n = 3) and infertile men with known ASA (n = 4) were also included in the analysis. RESULTS: All men, including the normal fertile controls, had ASA detectable in our system. Several sperm proteins were identified that react with ASA from infertile but not fertile men. Quantitative differences in the binding of ASA to some proteins were also demonstrated. Additionally, we demonstrated that normal motile sperm are coated with an antibody that appears to be bound to sperm by a non-antigenic mechanism. CONCLUSION: Sera from all men contained ASA, but clearly some of these did not cause infertility. Characterization of the proteins that are antigens for ASA from infertile but not fertile men may allow the development of more accurate tests for infertility-inducing ASA. The significance of immunoglobulin G coated on normal sperm remains to be determined.  (+info)

(5/34) Microsurgical vasectomy reversal: ten-years' experience in a single institute.

BACKGROUND: A retrospective review was made of patients who received vasectomy reversal from 1989 to 1998 at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) in Linkou, Taiwan. The patency rate and partner pregnancy rates were also analyzed. METHODS: Seventy patients underwent a vasovasostomy at CGMH from 1989 to 1998. Postoperative semen analysis and achievement of pregnancy in a partner were examined. Various preoperative factors were also examined and analyzed. RESULTS: Patients ranged from 30 to 58 (average, 40.8 +/- 6.5) years old. The most common reason for requesting a vasovasostomy was divorce (42.3%). The patency rate was 85.7% (36/42), and the pregnancy rate was 40.6% (13/32). However, if patients receiving a vasovasostomy for reasons other than to achieve pregnancy (i.e., pain, erectile dysfunction, or infertility of the wife) were excluded, the pregnancy rate reached 50.0% (13/26). Three patients received a second vasovasostomy; patency was noted in 2, and pregnancy was achieved in the partner of 1. Of the 5 patients receiving a vasovasostomy due to post-vasectomy pain syndrome, 3 felt that their condition had improved. CONCLUSION: The patency and pregnancy rates of vasovasostomies in CGMH were 85.7% and 50.0%, respectively. Repeat surgery could be considered an effective means of restoring fertility if an initial vasovasostomy failed. Moreover, a vasovasostomy appeared to be an effective means of treating post-vasectomy pain syndrome.  (+info)

(6/34) Economic implications of assisted reproductive techniques: a systematic review.

BACKGROUND: Approximately one in six couples experiences problems with their fertility at some point in their reproductive lives. The economic implications of the use of assisted reproductive techniques require consideration. Herein, the health economics research in this area are critically appraised. METHODS: Multiple strategies were used to identify relevant studies. Each title and abstract was independently reviewed by two members of the study team and categorized according to perceived relevance. The selected papers were then assessed for quality and data were extracted, converted to UK pounds sterling at 1999/2000 prices, tabulated and critically appraised. RESULTS: A total of 2547 papers was identified through the searches; this resulted in 30 economic evaluations, 22 cost studies and five economic benefit studies that met the selection criteria. The quality of these studies was mixed; many failed to disaggregate costs, discount future costs or conduct sensitivity analyses. Consistent findings included the following: initiating treatment with intrauterine insemination appeared to be more cost-effective than IVF; vasectomy reversal appeared to be more cost-effective than ICSI; factors associated with poor prognosis decreased the cost-effectiveness of interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The cost-effectiveness of different interventions should be considered when making decisions about treatment. Future economic appraisals of assisted reproductive techniques would benefit from more robust methodology than is evident in much of the published literature to date.  (+info)

(7/34) Reversing vasectomy.

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(8/34) The best infertility treatment for vasectomized men: assisted reproduction or vasectomy reversal?

In men with prior vasectomy, microsurgical reconstruction of the reproductive tract is more cost-effective than sperm retrieval with in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection if the obstructive interval is less than 15 years and no female fertility risk factors are present. If epididymal obstruction is detected or advanced female age is present, the decision to use either microsurgical reconstruction or sperm retrieval with in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection should be individualized. Sperm retrieval with in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection is preferred to surgical treatment when female factors requiring in vitro fertilization are present or when the chance for success with sperm retrieval and intracytoplasmic sperm injection exceeds the chance for success with surgical treatment.  (+info)