The Male Reproductive System

The male reproductive system consists of internal parts and external parts.

External Parts consist of -

  1. Penis
  2. Scrotum - The scrotum is a sac or pouch made of skin that houses the testicles.
  3. Testes - Most males have two testes, which are responsible for producing a hormone called testosterone and producing sperms.
  4. Epididymis - The epididymis is a long, thin coiled tube present behind the testes where the sperms are stored. The sperms attain maturity in the epididymis. Only the mature sperms are capable of fertilizing the egg.

Internal Parts - The parts of the male reproductive system those are present inside the male body are -

  1. Vas Deferens - The vas deferens is a long tube that carries the mature sperms from the epididymis to the urethra for ejaculation.
  2. Ejaculatory Ducts
  3. Urethra
  4. Seminal Vesicles The seminal vesicles are pouches that produce a fluid rich in sugar that provides energy to the sperms for motility.
  5. Prostate - Prostate adds fluid to the male ejaculate that provides nourishment to the sperms. The urethra runs through the centre of the prostate.

Azoospermia or negligible or no sperms in the semen is a condition that is the most important cause of male infertility.

This can be due to failure of production of sperms (non-obstructive azoospermia) or the sperms are produced but are unable to reach the semen (obstructive azoospermia).

Congenital absence of vas deferens or vasectomy can cause the failure of delivery of sperms to the ejaculate. In such conditions, the sperms are still produced in the epididymis and can be collected directly from there. The blockage in vasectomy can be surgically corrected.

In cases of non-obstructive azoospermia, a small number of sperms may still be produced and can be retrieved from the testes. These procedures that are used to obtain sperms are known as Surgical Sperm Retrieval.

  1. PESA - Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration- in this method light anaesthesia is given to the patient. A fine needle is then used to collect sperms from the epididymis. These sperms can then be used to fertilize the eggs obtained from IVF.
  2. TESE - Testicular Sperm Extraction- The testes are present inside the scrotum. An incision is made on the scrotal skin and a biopsy is taken to study the tissues for the presence of sperm. If sperms are detected then they can be freeze for future use to fertilize eggs obtained through IVF.
  3. TESA - Testicular sperm aspiration- a fine needle is used to aspirate fluid from the testes.
  4. Microdissection TESE - In this technique, a micro-dissecting microscope is used. This enables dissection of the testicular tissue with more precision, causing fewer traumas to the vasculature of the testes.
  5. MESA - Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration.
    These surgical sperm retrieval procedures are available at the Dalmia IVF Centre and have helped couples seeking treatment of infertility.