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Male Infertility

Male infertility—the inability of sperm cells to fertilize an egg cell — has several causes. If during fetal development the testes do not descend into the scrotum, the higher temperature of the abdominal cavity or inguinal canal causes the developing sperm cells in the seminiferous tubules to degenerate. Certain diseases, such as mumps, may inflame the testes (orchitis), impairing fertility by destroying cells in the seminiferous tubules.

Both the quality and quantity of sperm cells are essential factors in the ability of a man to father a child. If a sperm head is misshapen, if a sperm cannot swim, or if there are simply too few sperm cells, completing the arduous journey to the well-protected female cell may be impossible. Sometimes even a sperm cell that enters an egg is unsuccessful because it lacks the mi-crotubules necessary to attract and merge the nuclei of the two cells.

In the past, sperm analysis was based on microscopic examination. Today, computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) is standardizing and expanding criteria for normalcy in human male seminal fluid and the sperm cells it contains.

To analyze sperm, a man abstains from intercourse for two to three days, then provides a sperm sample, which must be examined within the hour. The man must also provide information about his reproductive history and possible exposure to toxins. The sperm sample is placed on a slide under a microscope, and then a video camera

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Live image

Computer monitor/ data display Digital image

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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