Use of Ultrasound in Male Infertility: Appropriate Selection of Men for Scrotal Ultrasound
Purpose of Review
Male factor infertility is a complex and multifaceted problem facing the modern urologist and is identified in 30–40% of infertile couples. This review focuses on the use of ultrasound, as an adjunct screening tool, in the initial evaluation of male infertility.
Access to male reproductive urologist for assessment of male infertility is limited and about a quarter of infertile couples do not complete the male component in their infertility assessment. Ultrasound evaluation of the infertile male is low-cost and non-invasive and helps uncover underlying pathologies that may be missed during the initial assessment. The addition of ultrasound allows the physician to accurately assess testicular anatomy and dimensions, as well as vascular environments, which may help guide treatment decisions.
Scrotal ultrasound evaluation, in conjunction with a semen analysis and as an adjunct to physical exam, can be offered in the initial assessment of men who present for infertility consultation given its low cost, non-invasive nature, and ability to detect and discriminate between various etiologies of male infertility. Further, when directed by physical exam and semen analysis findings, it provides a valuable tool to select men for referral to a reproductive urologist, especially for infertile couples who are only screened by reproductive endocrinologists and female infertility specialists.
KeywordsMale infertility Ultrasound Men’s health Scrotal ultrasound
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Joseph M. Armstrong, Sorena Keihani, and James M. Hotaling each declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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