Male Fertility Diagnostic Laboratory / Services
The FERTILITE diagnostic laboratory is an accredited facility containing the most advanced technology for thorough semen and hormone analysis, sperm preparation and in vitro fertilization procedures. FERTILITE has assembled a staff of scientists responsible for developing many of the leading assisted reproductive technology methods used by fertility specialists around the world. The dedication, initiative and scientific integrity of the FERTILITE laboratory staff is unmatched in the Tijuana-San Diego area.
Affordable and Flexible
Servicios Medicos Reproductivos de Tijuana offers its andrology and endocrinology laboratory services to patients upon referral from their physician. Although the work done in the laboratory is time-intensive, our staff remains flexible and can provide immediate turnarounds when necessary. The fees for our laboratory services are highly competitive.
The laboratory is located at Hospital Angeles de Tijuana. The hours for the lab are 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with extended hours when necessary. For better testing results and sperm preparation, our laboratory facilities include comfortable rooms for the on-site collection of semen samples.
The scientists in the Servicios Medicos Reproductivos de Tijuana’ laboratory are committed to examining every factor that may affect conception, from the obvious problem to the smallest deviation.
The cornerstone of the male evaluation is the semen analysis. It is very important that the laboratory conducting the analysis have personnel experienced in semen analysis using the Kruger strict criteria. We strongly recommend that a reproductive medicine practice with a Ph.D. andrologist be chosen. Sometimes, this laboratory will be more expensive, thus not covered by all insurance plans, but given the incidence of male infertility, it is essential that everything possible is done to rule it out. A “missed” abnormal sperm parameter can lead to ineffective treatment of the female, greatly increased cost, and wasted valuable time. Trained andrologists have years of advanced training enabling them to better recognize subtle abnormalities that might be missed by others. The semen analysis examines several parameters including the number of sperm, the shape of their heads, the condition and movement of their tails, their ability to swim in the correct direction, viscosity, volume of semen, and others. Kruger Strict Criteria establish norms for many additional sperm qualities in addition to total count. Some of these parameters are “subjective” which reinforces the need to choose a reproductive laboratory.
Until the advent of intracytoplasmic sperm injection with IVF, intrauterine insemination was the primary option for couples where the male had mild to moderate sperm abnormalities. In males with moderate to severe sperm abnormalities, in vitro fertilization is usually the most effective treatment.
When analyzing a semen sample, our lab staff conducts the basic tests including volume, concentration, progression and motility. However, we also look beyond the basics for a more complete analysis. Specially stained samples are examined under high-magnification to determine the morphology. If necessary, we can also analyze hormone levels and test for the presence of sperm antibodies, a rare condition that can incapacitate sperm.
– Total motile sperm
– Antibody presence
Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (HaloSperm test)
New studies suggest that sperm with certain levels of DNA fragmentation serve as a strong predictor of reduced male fertility. Servicios Medicos Reproductivos de Tijuana is the only program in the area offering the Halosperm Test, a test to measure the level of DNA fragmentation in the sperm, to enhance the diagnosis of and treatment for male infertility. A review of data on hundreds of semen samples show that patients with a DNA fragmentation level of greater than 30% are likely to have significantly-reduced fertility potential as well as a greater risk of miscarriage .
IUI Sperm Preparation
The experience of the laboratory staff has shown that using the basic “off-the-shelf” sperm preparation kits can lead to poor sperm recovery. For that reason, we identify potential problems through the initial semen analysis and then individualize the preparation process. We are able to manipulate sperm processing and optimize sperm viability for intrauterine insemination (IUI).
– Pre- and post-wash analysis
– Sperm examination
The technique of semen cryopreservation has been in clinical use for many years and was first pioneered in the veterinary arena. The procedure is very successful and has helped many couples conceive, who would have otherwise been unable to have children.
Cryopreservation is used to store and preserve semen from donors or spouses. There are numerous commercial “sperm banks” that allow couples to select a donor based upon physical and other characteristics. All donors are screened using numerous tests and semen is quarantined for six months to eliminate the possibility of AIDS transmission.
Donor semen can be used for intrauterine insemination, after thawing and concentrating, when the husband has moderate to severe male factor infertility. If the male factor is mild, the husband’s sperm can sometimes be specially prepared and concentrated for use in intrauterine insemination.
Many couples choose in vitro fertilization for the treatment of male factor infertility. Often sperm can be obtained using advanced reproductive technologies even though it is absent in the ejaculate. Additionally, the success rates are higher with IVF than IUI. Another advantage of IVF is that the child will possess the genetic makeup of both parents.
Some men choose to cryopreserve their sperm in other circumstances such as prior to cancer chemotherapy or radiation. These therapies can inhibit the male’s ability to produce viable sperm in the future. Others cryopreserve samples when entering high risk situations such as active military engagement.
Our Andrology laboratory offers semen cryopreservation and assists couples in identifying suitable donors.