by Dr Agilan Arjunan, Fertility Specialist , KL Fertility Centre (Malaysia)
Male factor is the cause for about 1/3 of infertility. However, the role of male- cause infertility is in the rise and many researches has confirmed this fact. Nevertheless, male partner is often the “forgotten” partner in the equation of fertility treatment. The focus has always been the female. Hence, we see today many investigations and treatments are focused on the female.
To conceive a baby, we need female egg (oocyte), male sperm and a healthy womb (uterus). In the treatment of male-cause infertility, sperm is usually retrieved either my masturbation (in mild -moderate male infertility) or by a surgical procedure (in severe male infertility). In the event the sperm in not retrieved, donor sperm is advised. The next step is usually IVF/ICSI (In-Vitro Fertilisation / Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) or sometimes IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) with donor sperm. Treatment for the couple is highly dependent on the availability of mature sperm, either from the partner or from a donor.