Evaluation of male partner by doppler tests and urological procedures

Doppler or Penile Doppler is a diagnostic test that is used to evaluate erectile dysfunction by using ultrasound to measure the blood flow to the penis. In this procedure, the patient is injected with a medication in his penis that causes an erection. At the time of the erection, the blood flow to the penis is measured with an ultrasound device to determine the degree of vascular abnormality causing erectile dysfunction (ED).

The entire procedure takes about thirty minutes to finish and the advantage of undergoing the same is that it helps to guide future therapy for ED. Usually, it is a pain-free process but most patients may experience minimal discomfort at the site of the injection. Further, some patients may even have a sustained erection that may need further treatments to solve.

This procedure helps the urologist determine if the patient has an inflow or an outflow problem. These can even eliminate unnecessary follow up procedures and dramatically reduce the cost of a hospital stay. The urological procedure is fairly accurate with minimal discomfort.

Infertility has long been associated with women. However, infertility or not being able to conceive can also be a result of a problem with the reproductive system of the male counterpart. An independent research study states that 50% of the times it is the male partner that needs to be treated for infertility, which necessitates the problem to be addressed as a couple rather than taking it up individually with your doctor. It requires the examination of the male reproductive system to check if everything is normal for a successful pregnancy to take place.

The most common reasons for male infertility

  • Low sperm count
  • Blockage of sperm delivery system
  • Hormonal problems
  • Testicle related problems
  • Infection
  • Varicocele
  • Diseases like cancer
  • Lifestyle habits like smoking, drugs
  • Antibodies that prevent sperm production

While the reasons for infertility can be varied, the focus needs to be on how to diagnose and address these problems amongst the male population. The prime factor of a healthy pregnancy is quality and healthy sperm being passed over to the female reproductive system for fertilization. If the sperm count is low, or is of a poor quality, it is a condition that needs to be treated. One of the most common reasons for the same is varicocele. It is the swelling of varicose vein in the scrotum that prevents the blood from flowing properly and causes the temperature to rise. This increased temperature reduces the count of sperm being produced and prevents the hormones to function optimally.

Diagnosis of male infertility

  • Doppler Test: If a patient is suffering from varicocele, apart from physical examination, a Doppler test is performed to confirm if there is a problem with the free flow of blood that may lead to low sperm count.
  • Semen Analysis: This test checks for the shape, number, and movement of the sperm along with consistency and amount of semen from the sample collected. The idea is to check if there is presence of infection that is leading to infertility.
  • Post- ejaculation urinalysis: This test indicates the direction of flow of sperm. If sperm is found in male urine post ejaculation, it means it is travelling in wrong direction i.e. into the bladder instead of penis.
  • Transrectal Ultrasound: This test allows the doctor to check for blockage in the semen carrying tubes.
  • Once the cause of infertility is established through the various diagnostic tests, an appropriate urological procedure can be carried out to address and treat the same.