International Dexeus Forum - 44th edition

REPRODUCTION > MALE INFERTILITY

“What is the role of the andrologist in the ICSI era?”

Herman Tournaye, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)

In most ART programs, the focus is now on the female partner, although the male partner deserves more attention and supportive counselling. In case of oligo- or azoospermia, a proper diagnosis needs to be made, all potential evidence-based treatment options need to be discussed and even in case of need for IVF-ICSI proper evaluation may allow optimized treatment.


What is the role of the andrologist in the ICSI era?

The introduction of ICSI, now more than 25 years ago, has certainly revolutionized the management of infertility in men with extreme oligozoospermia or azoospermia. Instantly ICSI became a one-fits-all routine treatment for alleviating infertility not exclusively for severe male infertility. While the recipe is simple, one vital sperm needed per mature oocyte to be injected, there is still a patient behind this sperm. Inevitably, apart from live birth rates, both patient empowerment and patient centeredness will also become part of the success of any treatment.

While in most ART programs, the focus is now on the female partner, the male partner deserves more attention and supportive counselling. In case of oligo- or azoospermia, a proper diagnosis needs to be made, all potential evidence-based treatment options needs to be discussed and even in case of need for IVF-ICSI proper evaluation may allow optimized treatment. Besides his/her coaching and medical role, the ‘andrologist’ can also provide valuable input for research into the pathophysiology, treatment and prevention of male infertility.

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