Male Infertility

Male infertility is present in up to half of all infertile couples. Prior to any female treatment, it is important for the male partner to be evaluated early.

Male infertility may have several causes. One common cause is elevation of temperature in the testes.  The scrotum functions to “heat” and “cool” the testes by moving them closer to or further away from the body. Anything that interferes with this function can cause male infertility. For example, tightly fitting clothes elevate testicular temperature by not allowing the scrotum to move away from the body.  A varicocele is a blockage of the veins in the scrotum responsible for controlling temperature by supplying cooled or warmed blood.

The andrologists at Northwell Health Fertility have extensive experience identifying subtle signs of male infertility.

In addition to a semen analysis, we offer the Toluidine Blue Assay (TBA). TBA determines the percentage of sperm with quality DNA in a given semen sample.


What is the purpose of this test?
  • To help provide answers to issues of unexplained infertility, miscarriages or failed cycles.
  • To determine the most potentially successful course of treatment, (poor DNA integrity is associated with reduced IUI success).
  • To provide a more detailed assessment of semen quality beyond the traditional semen analysis.
  • To assess whether or not treatment interventions (i.e. varicocele repair, infectious disease treatment, etc.) were successful.
How does it work?

The test uses dye absorption to determine sperm quality; the less color absorbed the better the sperm’s DNA quality.

How and where would I have this test done?

The test can be done in the Northwell Health Fertility’s Andrology Lab. To schedule an appointment please call (516) 562-1760. Our full-time andrologists assess all parameters of sperm and semen.

Services provided include:

  • Semen Analysis
  • Antisperm Antibodies
  • Retrograde Analysis
  • Sperm Washing
  • Cryopreservation (Sperm freezing)
  • Toluidine Blue Assay (TBA)

The purpose of the office visit is to diagnose the reason for male infertility, and also assess the patient’s overall health. A detailed history is taken including medications, surgical history, environmental exposure, and any erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction.

The cornerstone of the evaluation is the semen analysis. A specimen is collected at home or on the laboratory premises. A normal semen analysis does not need to be repeated. An abnormal semen analysis should always be repeated. If it remains abnormal, an evaluation by a male infertility specialist is advised.


Male infertility treatment might include medications (such as an antibiotic for a prostate infection or a pill to increase testosterone levels), or involve surgery (such as the surgical repair of a varicocele or an operation to bypass blockage). The male infertility specialist will consult with the Center’s physicians. Together they will determine the best treatment the couple should be offered, such as artificial insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).