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Archive for the ‘male factor infertility’ tag

Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 6 Have You Had A Fertility Workup?

By David Kreiner MD

March 18th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Six: Have You Had a Fertility Workup? You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here:

Have You Had A Fertility Workup?

A fertility specialist called a Reproductive Endocrinologist, who has performed a three year fellowship training in IVF and infertility after an Obstetrics and Gynecology residency, will initiate the fertility workup by conducting a history and physical examination.  The exam includes a pelvic ultrasound of a woman’s uterus and ovaries to determine if there are any abnormalities that may affect implantation or pregnancy, as well as assess ovarian activity and the presence of endometriosis.

Different causes of infertility will be tested.  The most common factor, that affecting the male, is easily tested with a semen analysis.  Tubal obstruction preventing a woman’s eggs from reaching the sperm can be ascertained by a hysterosalpingogram, a radiograph of the uterus and fallopian tubes performed after injecting radio-opaque contrast through the cervix.

Other tests to better delineate problems in the uterine cavity may be performed such as a hydrosonogram, where water is injected through the cervix and the cavity inspected by vaginal sonography or with hysteroscopy, where a scope is placed through the cervix to directly inspect the uterine cavity.

Blood tests may be performed to assess ovarian activity, in particular day 3 FSH and estradiol levels and AntiMullerian Hormone.  Prolactin and TSH levels are checked to rule out other hormonal disorders that may affect ovulation and fertility.

Treatment can be directed at the cause of infertility, such as ovulation induction for women with ovulatory disorders or surgery to remove uterine polyps or it may be independent of the cause such as with ovarian stimulation and intrauterine insemination or IVF which will improve success rates regardless of the cause of infertility with some exceptions.  IUI will have limited success for tubal factor, male factor infertility and endometriosis.  IVF will have limited success in women who have diminished ovarian reserve or abnormal eggs unless they use eggs donated by young fertile women.  Today, there is a highly successful treatment available for all.

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about what to expect from a fertility workup?

Please share your thoughts about this podcast or ask Dr. Kreiner any questions here.

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Infertile Men are Fathers, Too

By Tracey Minella

June 17th, 2012 at 8:56 am

If you are a man who wants to be a father, but infertility is standing in the way, I don’t have to tell you how tough it is getting through today. If male factor infertility is all or part of the problem, there’s often an added level of misplaced guilt as well. And if you’ve lost your own dad along the way, the day is even worse.

I could tell you to take care of yourself today, but you’re probably more concerned about your wife or partner. How she wants the baby, the card and the homemade clay presents that Father’s Day is supposed to be about.

If you’re seeing your own dad… and siblings with children will be there… there can be guilt about not making grandchildren yet and the sense of urgency to do so while he’s still alive. But you will manage, despite the ache in your heart, to smile for your dad today and to play a little catch with those nephews.

And you may have to endure the insensitive and hurtful comments…sometimes directly targeted at your manhood… by ignorant brothers or in-laws. You know the ones. I won’t repeat them. But you’ll laugh it off to keep the peace and pretend it’s the barbeque smoke stinging your eyes.

Today I want you to know that you are a dad. You’re a father “in-the-making”.

Good dads are selfless. They put everyone else’s needs before their own. They take care of their wives and their parents. They often hide their pain. Without realizing it, some practice their “dad skills” on nieces and nephews. They get stronger by facing and overcoming adversity. Their commitment to their wife deepens by battling this challenge together.

All this crap you are going through… this journey… has either given you or fine-tuned all the traits you need to be a great dad someday.

So, Happy Father’s Day to a great dad-to-be. And I hope that next year will be the year of the baby to complete the deal.

To our patients who have already become fathers, Happy Father’s Day. Enjoy those miracles… and their homemade clay presents!

Happy Father’s Day to the wonderful doctor dads of Long Island IVF…great men and loving fathers/grandfathers who use their gifts every day to help build our families.

And finally, Happy Father’s Day to my husband Adam, not just for being the wonderful father I knew he’d be, but for hanging in there during the many years of our own 7 fresh IVF cycles journey to parenthood.

If winning a free Micro-IVF cycle (valued at $3,900.00) would assist you on your infertility journey, please enter Long Island IVF’s “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest. Details are on the April 23, 2012 blog post or click here:


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Tell us how you get through days like this. Did anyone say something hurtful? How did you respond?

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 13 Sperm Meets Egg- Why Doesn’t It Work Every Time?

By David Kreiner MD

June 14th, 2012 at 6:17 pm


Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Thirteen: Sperm Meets Egg-Why Doesn’t It Work Every Time? You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: 

Sperm Meets Egg- Why Doesn’t It Work Every Time? 

We live in a society where people grow up with certain entitlements. 

We expect to complete a transatlantic flight within 6 hours without delay.  While 30,000 feet up in the air we get upset if our internet momentarily goes on the blink.  When normally menstruating women having regular intercourse cannot get pregnant it turns their lives upside down.  After all, we plan our lives, our careers and our families and there often is not time allowed for such difficulties. 

When the source of the trouble is the Man, the impact on his ego, his mood and the couple’s relationship can be quite dramatic.  Men have a problem that contributes to the difficulty conceiving in 50-60% of cases.  Most of these cases can be picked up by a simple semen analysis.  

Unfortunately, even when the semen analysis screen is normal about 10% of the time when routine in vitro fertilization is attempted, the partner’s eggs fail to fertilize.  This is why we recommend that we perform ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in cases of unexplained infertility, on half the eggs.  That allows us to test the fertilizability of the eggs and treat those with deficient fertilization in the same cycle. 

There are numerous causes of male infertility discussed in the chapter.  Some are amenable to hormonal treatment, some could benefit from surgery, and nearly all may be overcome with IVF using ICSI. Other supplements, herbal medicine, and adjunctive therapy are mentioned. 

Recently, it has been found that in cases of severe male infertility, though pregnancies may be achieved with ICSI, in those cases there appears to be a higher incidence of miscarriages and congenital anomalies and other problems in some babies born to such couples. 

Still… for those couples who otherwise would never have previously been able to conceive without IVF… IVF with ICSI offers a significant possibility for them to build their own healthy families using their own eggs and sperm. 

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about why it doesn’t work every time sperm meets egg? 

Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions.

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Putting All Your …Sperm in One Basket

By Tracey Minella

January 31st, 2012 at 10:05 am

It’s the last day of the month and that means it’s “Just for Guys” day here at the Fertility Daily blog! For those who don’t know it, I always post something of particular interest to the boys on the last blogging day of the month. You know, just to remind them where their place is…Oh, just kidding! (Where would we be without them?)

So, today I’m sharing a true miracle story especially to inspire the guys with male factor infertility (and their loving wives).

The man was tested. No sperm. Not low motility or low count.


But thanks to advancements in assisted reproductive technology, he underwent a testicular biopsy…a procedure to search tissue for sperm, one at a time. A team of three scientists spent 9 hours searching his tissue for sperm.

They found one. A single sperm. And they froze it.

The wife underwent IVF and wasn’t a super egg producer herself, according to the article. But, with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), they fertilized one of her eggs with that single sperm cell.

And she conceived. Against the odds.

They have a little girl now. To read the whole story, click here:

Fortunately, Long Island IVF patients have easy access to our on-staff male reproductive specialist, Dr. Yefim Sheynkin. His unique experience and many years of expertise in reproductive medicine, microsurgical treatment of male infertility, and sperm retrieval techniques for in vitro fertilization are unparalled.

If you have male factor infertility, please ask your RE about all of your options. Get evaluated by their on-staff reproductive urologist. The best centers will have one. You may have more options than you think.

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Do you find stories like this inspiring? If you were diagnosed with severe male factor infertility and were a candidate for a procedure like the couple in this article had, would you consider it?

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What the #@WI-FI&* Happened to Your Sperm?!

By Tracey Minella

December 30th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Last post of the month… so it’s one for the guys as usual.

We all know the things the ladies are doing (or should be doing) to increase their chances of conceiving a healthy baby. Tests taken, prenatal vitamins, dental work, healthy diet and exercise, etc. And you both should be avoiding excessive caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, of course.

But if you think sportin’ those loose boxers is all you need to do to maximize the potential of “your boys”, think again!

High tech breakthroughs have advanced the fields of assisted reproductive technologies, like IVF. But not all things “high-tech” are beneficial. Some things can potentially do harm.

Like Wi-Fi. (a/k/a wireless internet connections.)

We already know that a laptop on your lap for extended periods of time can cause scrotal hyperthermia, or increased testicular temperature. But great balls o’ fire, there’s another sperm quality killer to worry about!

It’s possible that laptop of yours, with its Wi-Fi could be messing with your sperm’s motility (ability to move) and quality. It could be fragmenting your sperm’s very DNA!

Now don’t try this at home…yes, I went there… but when semen samples were placed under a laptop for four hours, one group with the Wi-Fi on and the other with the Wi-Fi off, there were noticeable differences in the quality of the sperm.

The Wi-Fi sperm sample showed 25% lost motility and 9% suffered DNA fragmentation, compared to the non-Wi-Fi sperm sample which showed 14% lost motility and 3% suffered DNA fragmentation. Scientists theorized that the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the Wi-Fi may be the reason for the results. For more information, click here:

So fellas, be careful what you allow on your lap!

Which brings me to a potentially-related closing comment, depending on how wild your plans are tomorrow night: Have a safe and healthy New Year’s Eve. I hope all your dreams come true in 2012.

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How do you plan to spend New Year’s Eve? Do you put infertility aside and have fun out with a crowd or have a romantic dinner for two? Do you stay in with a small group or alone and watch the ball drop on TV? Or do you treat it like any other night and go to bed early?


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East Coast Fertility Pioneers Long Island’s First Men’s Support Group

By Tracey A. Minella and Bina Benisch M.s.,r.n.

August 3rd, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Hey guys! Do you hold in your feelings around your wife because you feel she’s already stressed out over infertility and you don’t want to burden her further? Do you just smile weakly in silence around your brothers and your buddies who are bragging about their little boys playing on Little League, not knowing how it’s a knife in your heart?

Wouldn’t it be nice to hang out with some guys who are just like you? Guys who “get” it. Who understand the frustration, anger, pain, fear, guilt and all the other emotions you are struggling with. Imagine unloading some of the burden. Imagine getting to talk about the things your wife does…without judgment! Wouldn’t that help you and your marriage?

Announcing a first of its kind on Long Island…ECF is proud to proclaim that the ground-breaking virgin voyage of its new “Just for Guys” Mind-Body Support group was an amazing success. You guys had the courage to ask for it, and ECF delivered. Meetings are two Tuesdays per month at 7:00 pm, until 8 or 8:30 pm.

Without revealing anything but an overall sense of relief, ECF’s Bina Benisch gives a high five to the trailblazers:

Trailblazing a new frontier of Mind-Body support at ECF.


The first meeting of Just for Guys, the support session for men, met Tuesday night, and what a gratifying experience it was!  I want to thank the men who came out for sharing their heart-felt thoughts and feelings about their own unique experience.

It has been rare to hear the men’s version of how infertility has affected them, their sense of self, and their relationships.  It’s not simply about supporting their female partner who is affected by infertility – let’s not forget that the men are the equal other half of the fertility equation, and it’s imperative that they have the opportunity to express their feelings and to experience emotional support. 

Thanks guys, for revolutionizing the way in which fertility is seen to impact a couple and for blazing this trail with me! 

And, thank you Dr. Kreiner — this is another example of East Coast Fertility’s sensitivity and commitment to their patients’ emotional needs.

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There’s always room for more!!! Any guys who would like to get in on the next “Guys Night Out”, please contact Bina at or call her at 631-397-0096!     

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New “Just for Guys” Support Group at ECF!

By Tracey Minella

June 29th, 2011 at 12:00 am

You asked for it and we listened. (Shout out to Peter!)

And we’ll keep on listening! (That’s the whole point, isn’t it?)

East Coast Fertility is proud to announce the formation of a brand new support group, exclusively for the guys. No wives allowed! I think it’s a first on Long Island! (That’s so like us!)

Under the gentle guidance of ECF’s own Bina Benisch, M.S.,R.N …well-known for her awesome work with our female patients… the men will now get to openly explore their own feelings about being part of an infertile couple. C’mon guys, haven’t you always been jealous that the ladies had a place to go talk about everything that’s driving them crazy…including you? Well, now you can do the same.

Venting is healthy, especially when moderated by a professional. It’s time to let out those feelings. Stress isn’t good for the boys. You don’t talk about this stuff with the guys at the office or the gym, right? Even your brothers don’t get it. And you keep it from your partner because you don’t want to further burden her or seem weak, right? So noble…but so wrong. Your feelings count, too!

This is your chance to become part of something that can only help you get through this infertility journey. It doesn’t matter if the diagnosis is male factor or something else. All guys are welcome.

You’ll help yourself understand your feelings. You will bond with other men who are living with the same pain. You may even make some new friends. Can’t you see it now? A bunch of like-minded guys one-upping each other with stories of their wives’ hormonal outbursts. No one’s gonna judge you here.

The meetings will be held twice a month, every other Tuesday night, from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm at the Plainview office. Please contact Bina Benisch at to register and for more information. There is no fee and no commitment.

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Can I get a “Woo-Hoo” from either the interested guys…or the wives who will be forcing them to go? Come on now. Let’s not have Peter stuck talking to himself…

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A Father’s Day Fertility Message

By Bina Benisch, M.s.,r.n.

June 14th, 2011 at 12:00 am

As Father’s Day is looming near, couples struggling with fertility once again may experience the quiet rumbles of impending anxiety – wondering how they will cope surrounded by another celebration of parenthood while they remain feeling empty as a family. 

Women often express the dreaded anticipation of the emotional beating they experience during holidays and family gatherings, where seemingly innocuous remarks about parenthood are felt like a blow to their hearts. 

But how do the men in their lives feel?

Infertility may raise feelings of frustration, self-doubt, inadequacy, and isolation – and Father’s Day can intensify these feelings.  Does your partner open up about his feelings? Is he aware of them? If so, mutual compassion and communication can strengthen the bond of your relationship.

I often hear the frustration of men who attempt to be supportive and sensitive to their partner’s feelings, yet whatever he says or does seems wrong…. and even worse, he feels powerless to help his wife or the situation.  Ouch. 

Take a step back for a moment, and imagine how the feeling of emotional powerlessness is amplified in the mind and heart of a person struggling with infertility – mirroring the physical failure of infertility.  Even if the fertility issue is a female factor, the male partner is often left feeling bereft in terms of how to cope with supporting his wife.  These feelings are often multilayered and multifaceted.  The emotions are a mixed bag, and clarity is elusive.  This may manifest as verbalizing words that simply reflect frustration, anger, and emotional withdrawal.

Men often feel used for their sperm, and sexual intimacy is no longer an intimate expression, but a duty performed only for fertilization.  Unfortunately, infertility can drain all the spark, chemistry, sexual, and emotional attraction from a relationship. Awareness of these issues, along with the will to overcome them, empowers your relationship to not only survive this crisis, but become even more connected as a couple.

This Father’s Day, try giving a gift to the man you love, the man who would like to become a father.  Perhaps the gift is appreciating his value and support in whatever unique way he demonstrates it.  Perhaps the gift is accepting his perspective on fertility, even if that perspective differs from yours. 

The gift may even be as simple as letting him know that you love him unconditionally – irrespective of needing him for sperm or conception. 

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Are you planning on doing anything special to help your man through the day?



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