The male equivalent of gynaecology, andrology is the study of men’s health, particularly relating to their reproductive systems.

Only recognised as a speciality branch of medicine in the 1960s, andrology deals directly with male infertility. This includes sperm quality augmentation and surgical sperm retrieval.

In 1 of 4 couples who are having difficulty in conceiving, the difficulty is present with the male partner.

Whether you’re trying for a baby, or are concerned about your or your partner’s fertility, it is best to seek medical advice.

At Aurora, our team of specialist andrologists offer a comprehensive list of services to determine and treat a range of issues which are linked to male infertility.

These problems include:

Impotence  the inability to achieve or sustain an erection.

 

Ejaculation problems:

Ejaculation is the release of sperm from the penis during the male orgasm. It is brought about by a combination of mental and physical stimulation that cause rhythmic contractions of the muscles of the penis. The two most common problems are premature and retrograde ejaculation.

  • Premature ejaculation – is the achievement of orgasm and release of semen well before the couple wish this to happen during the act of intercourse. This could be during foreplay before penetration takes place, at or soon after penetration, or in the early stages of intercourse.
  • Retrograde ejaculation – is the passage of released semen (often at the appropriate time) backwards rather than forward along the urethra to end up in the bladder.

 

What causes ejaculation problems?

Premature ejaculation can be due to stress, nervousness and tension. Psychological problems in the relationship may contribute as well. Retrograde ejaculation can occur in any situation where the internal end or sphincter of the urethra (the urine tract in the penis) is damaged. This causes the urethra to lose the ability to close off at the time of ejaculation. It can be caused by birth defects of the penis, surgery to the urethra including removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy), and disorders of the nerves supplying the area as can occur in multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

 

Problems of premature ejaculation:

Premature ejaculation problems can affect conception two ways:

  • Ejaculation is not delayed long enough for the female partner to have adequate sexual fulfilment and orgasm. Female orgasms enable sperm to move more effectively to eggs waiting for fertilisation.
  • Conceiving is virtually impossible if it occurs before penetration.

It can thus cause a great deal of frustration. It is often a source of sexual and relationship difficulties, as well as childlessness. Furthermore, if the problem continues for a prolonged period, it could result in male impotence.

 

Problems of retrograde ejaculation:

Retrograde ejaculation may come to light due to the absence of semen after ejaculation, or it may be picked up during investigations for infertility. It inevitably causes infertility, because no semen is deposited in the female’s vagina. The presence of sperm in a urine sample obtained after ejaculation is a clear indication that this may be the cause of infertility.

 

Treatment of ejaculation problems:

Psychosexual counselling has a big role to play in the treatment of premature ejaculation. You and your partner will be educated on the known facts about the sexual response cycle and instructed on how to pace your sexual activity. We sometimes combine this with the use of fertility drugs to improve ovulation. Up to 1 in 5 couples treated in this way may be able to achieve a pregnancy. Surgical sperm retrieval is suggested when these other treatments are unsuccessful.

 

Our specialist andrologists would be happy to answer any questions you may have, and in the meantime here is some more useful help and advice on male infertility.