perm Health: Occlusion

One type of fertility diagnosis that may affect sperm health is occlusion. In general, occlusion refers to any blockage within the male or female reproductive system.

However, occlusion in the male duct system may significantly affect male fertility and hinder the ejaculation of sperm.

Male occlusion will typically affect the epididymis or the vas deferens, and will require occlusion therapy in order to treat male infertility necessary for improving sperm health.

Causes of Occlusion

Various occlusion techniques may be performed when a man decides to undergo a vasectomy. For this reason, vasectomy is often seen as one potential cause of occlusion within the male reproductive system.

Other causes of occlusion in the duct system include:

  • scarring from abdominal surgery
  • congenital conditions
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • hernia

Diagnosis of Occlusion

There are a variety of diagnostic procedures available to identify occlusion when this type of male fertility problem is suspected. Diagnosis of occlusion may involve the following procedures:

  • transrectal ultrasound: this is a type of pelvic ultrasound that uses sound waves to form a picture of the organs and structures in the pelvic region. In men, a transrectal ultrasound (which is inserted through the rectum) can provide a look into the bladder, seminal vesicles and the prostate gland.
  • vasography: this procedure will accompany an ultrasound if the results of an ultrasound are unclear. If vasogrophy is performed, radiographic dye will be injected into the vas deferens as well as the ejaculatory ducts. This will be followed by an x-ray which will provide an image of how the dye flows through the duct system.
  • seminal vesiculography: this procedure involves diagnostic radiography to produce x-ray images of the seminal vesicles

Male Infertility Treatment and Occlusion

Male infertility treatment for occlusion will usually involve a surgical procedure known as a vasovasotomy. During vasovasotomy surgery, a health care provider will stitch the inner and outer layers of the vas deferens together in order restore continuity. This will ensure healthy sperm travel from the testicles necessary to restore ejaculation.

Vasovasotomy surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and subsequent semen analysis tests will be required in order to monitor reproductive or sperm health following surgery.

Occlusion and Getting Pregnant

In addition to vasovasotomy surgery to help restore male fertility, a testicular biopsy may be performed in order to retrieve sperm to be used for in fertility treatments such as ART. Since sperm counts range from one case to the next, a couple seeking infertility treatments to help in the process of getting pregnant may require IVF and ICSI.

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