Significant medical pathology uncovered by a comprehensive male infertility evaluation

Fertil Steril. 1994 Nov;62(5):1028-34.


Objective: To determine if there was a specific screening regimen that could identify all patients with significant medical pathology found during a comprehensive male infertility evaluation.

Design: A retrospective study.

Setting: Two university-based male infertility clinics.

Patients: Thirteen patients with male factor infertility identified with significant medical pathology.

Main outcome measures: Initial presentation, history, physical examination, semen analysis, and hormone profile.

Results: The identification of significant medical pathology was uncovered in 13 of 1,236 patients (1.1%) presenting to a male infertility clinic. The pathology was identified with a thorough history in 4 of 13 patients (30.8%) and by a complete physical examination in 8 of 13 patients (61.5%). Semen analyses were available on 12 patients, and 1 patient was anejaculatory. Two patients were azoospermic. Of the patients with sperm present, the mean sperm concentration was 8.6 x 10(6)/mL (range, 0.8 to 27), and the mean sperm motility was 32.0% (range, 0% to 65%). In 5 patients, endocrine abnormalities were specifically related to the subsequent pathology identified. A tumor was identified in 10 patients (6 testicular tumors, 3 brain tumors, and 1 spinal cord tumor). Two patients had ejaculatory dysfunction as a result of mesonephric duct anomalies affecting the ejaculatory duct or bladder neck closure. One patient had Klinefelter's syndrome.

Conclusions: There was no pathognomonic finding on history, physical examination, semen analysis, or hormone profile that identified all patients with significant medical pathology. The significant medical pathology identified was represented in all semen quality groupings, that is, azoospermia, severe oligospermia, mild oligospermia, and normospermia. We recommend a comprehensive urologic evaluation for all male partners of infertile couples with a male factor or unexplained infertility in an attempt to identify significant and potentially treatable medical pathology before engaging in a series of therapies with assisted reproductive techniques.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Craniopharyngioma / complications
  • Craniopharyngioma / diagnosis
  • Ejaculation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / diagnosis
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Oligospermia / complications
  • Oligospermia / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / complications
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / complications
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Testicular Neoplasms / complications
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography