Male factor infertility and when to consider a sperm donor

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Male factor infertility and when to consider a sperm donor

The decision to use a sperm donor can be a very challenging one for couples. Fortunately, because of all the advancing productive techniques available, many couples don't have to make that decision. If the semen analysis shows that there is an abnormality in sperm production, an insemination can be performed. This is where a man would come in to the office, provide a semen sample, and the sperm from that sample is concentrated into a very small amount of culture media. It's placed at the top of the uterus via a small cathether. So the sperm are much closer to the fallopian tubes and can fertilize the egg. If, however, inseminations don't work, or there is a severe abnormality in the semen analysis, then, In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF is a great option. With IVF, even if the semen analysis shows very low sperm numbers, fertilization rates are still pretty good, because the sperm and the egg are put into direct contact with each other. Alternatively, a couple can go through something called, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This is a procedure done with IVF. This is called ICSI. With ICSI, one sperm is directly injected into the egg. Therefore, you only need one sperm for every egg that a woman produces in an IVF cycle. Because of these options, many couples don't have to go directly to a sperm donor. Even for men who don't have any sperm in the ejaculate, oftentimes, the urologist can retrieve sperm directly from the testicle. If however, that is not a possibility, or a couple doesn't want to undergo fertility treatments, or it is too expensive, using the sperm donor is a valid and wonderful option for those couples.

View Kristin Bendikson, MD's video on Male factor infertility and when to consider a sperm donor...


Expert Bio

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Kristin Bendikson, MD

Fertility Specialist

Dr. Kristin A. Bendikson joined USC Fertility after finishing her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Harvard Medical School and completing her subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the internationally renowned Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at Cornell University Medical College. During that time, she received intensive training in ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization and fertility surgery, as well as the management of other disorders including recurrent pregnancy loss, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Kristin received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and attended the prestigious New York University School of Medicine. Her extensive training and years in practice have prepared her to deal with the most difficult and challenging cases.

Kristin holds the title of Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the USC Keck School of Medicine. She is the currently the principal investigator of several research projects including the study of zygote intrafallopian tube transfer for women of advanced reproductive age, aging of the uterine endometrium and vitamin D and its role in infertility. It is her goal to provide the highest quality care for her patients and to help them fulfill their desire of having a healthy baby. In addition, she strives to guide her patients through what can be a trying and difficult journey by providing them with the support and personal attention they need.

Fertility expert, teacher, and researcher, Kristin is also a married mother of two. She resides in West Los Angeles with her family.

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