Male Infertility—Diagnosis and Treatment

A special issue of Uro (ISSN 2673-4397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 May 2024 | Viewed by 2430

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Urology, Renal Transplantation and Donation Sciences, College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
Interests: sterility; sterility prevalence; reproductive futility; infertility; gynecology; andrology; childlessness
Department of Urology, College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43607, USA
Interests: infertility; embryology; andrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The inability to conceive after 12 consecutive months of unprotected and timely sexual intercourse—commonly known as infertility—is an emotionally and financially stressful condition for young couples wishing to start families. Nearly one-half of infertility globally is ascribable to male infertility, which has far-reaching health consequences, often offering a valuable insight into general health.

Male infertility is a multifactorial reproductive disorder caused by endocrinopathies, infections, anatomical causes, and genetic and epigenetic factors. While the cause is easily identifiable in some cases, a clear-cut diagnosis is out of reach for many patients. This is referred to as idiopathic male infertility. Though it is typically visible in abnormal semen analyses, no currently available diagnostic tests can identify the cause of those abnormalities. Another sub-category of infertility is unexplained male infertility, in which no apparent abnormalities can be identified in the semen profile.

The current diagnostic tests based mainly on semen analysis fail to provide a proper diagnosis of male infertility. Indeed, the 6th edition of the World Health Organization Manual for the Laboratory Examination and Processing of Human Semen, released in 2021, has addressed these shortcomings by proposing expanded and advanced tests to improve male factor infertility detection.

Despite these efforts, the molecular or intracellular causes of infertility in infertile men remain undetermined due to the lack of more advanced, affordable, and reliable diagnostic tests. While ART, including ICSI, has revolutionized the treatment of male infertility, the technology is prohibitively expensive and inaccessible for many couples worldwide. While microfluidics and hyaluronic acid binding have been used to select sperm with lower DNA fragmentation for ART, these measures have not translated into better patient outcomes.

In recent years, several new approaches to diagnosis of male infertility have been proposed, with some modest success. These include a DNA fragmentation index test and measurement of oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species; tests that assess sperm function, such as acrosome integrity, mitochondrial activity, and the ability to undergo capacitation; multiomics comprising genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics; reliable and efficient integration of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), in male infertility testing and diagnosis.

For this special issue, we are seeking many reviews and research articles exploring the challenges and recent developments in male infertility testing and diagnosis. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

  1. The role of specific genes, sperm epigenetic alterations, mitochondrial DNA alterations, and specific proteins in sperm and seminal plasma, in male infertility. 
  2. The role of intracellular structures such as sperm centriole in male infertility.
  3. Full-scale untargeted genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics studies of male infertility.
  4. The role of Leukocytospermia in clinical management of male infertility.

Dr. Puneet Sindhwani
Dr. Tariq Shah
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Uro is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • male infertility
  • unexplained male infertility
  • iatrogenic male infertility
  • male infertility diagnosis
  • male infertility and multiomics
  • advanced male infertility testing
  • sperm DNA fragmentation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

14 pages, 309 KiB  
Review
The Clinical Management of Leukocytospermia in Male Infertility: A Narrative Review
by Usman Hussain, Nikit Venishetty, Marwan Alkassis and Omer Raheem
Uro 2024, 4(2), 36-49; https://doi.org/10.3390/uro4020004 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
A major global health concern, male infertility affects 8–12% of couples globally. Leukocytospermia is a complicated illness that is distinguished from other reasons causing male infertility by having high white blood cell counts in semen. The complex mechanisms behind leukocytospermia’s effects on sperm [...] Read more.
A major global health concern, male infertility affects 8–12% of couples globally. Leukocytospermia is a complicated illness that is distinguished from other reasons causing male infertility by having high white blood cell counts in semen. The complex mechanisms behind leukocytospermia’s effects on sperm function and fertility are examined in this review. Leukocytospermia induces oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that impair DNA integrity, mitochondrial function, cytoplasmic extrusion, and sperm quality overall. Leukocytospermia is exacerbated by non-infectious factors, such as substance abuse and varicocele, even though genital tract infections are a common cause. The usefulness and dependability of diagnostic techniques range from immunochemistry to direct counting. Although there is still disagreement on the most effective course of action, clinical-care techniques, such as antioxidant supplementation and antibiotic therapy, attempt to address underlying causes and reduce ROS-induced damage. Prospectively, the combination of artificial intelligence with the latest developments in artificial reproductive technologies presents opportunities for more precise diagnosis and customized treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male Infertility—Diagnosis and Treatment)
13 pages, 269 KiB  
Review
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Male Infertility: Evaluation and Treatment: A Narrative Review
by Nikit Venishetty, Marwan Alkassis and Omer Raheem
Uro 2024, 4(2), 23-35; https://doi.org/10.3390/uro4020003 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 913
Abstract
Male infertility has affected an increasingly large population over the past few decades, affecting over 186 million people globally. The advent of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the landscape of diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. Through an [...] Read more.
Male infertility has affected an increasingly large population over the past few decades, affecting over 186 million people globally. The advent of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the landscape of diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. Through an extensive literature review encompassing the PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases, various AI techniques such as machine learning (ML), artificial neural networks (ANNs), deep learning (DL), and natural language processing (NLP) were examined in the context of evaluating seminal quality, predicting fertility potential, and improving semen analysis. Research indicates that AI models can accurately estimate the quality of semen, diagnose problems with sperm, and provide guidance on reproductive health decisions. In addition, developments in smartphone-based semen analyzers and computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) are indicative of initiatives to improve the price, portability, and accuracy of results. Future directions point to possible uses for AI in ultrasonography assessment, microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE), and home-based semen analysis. Overall, AI holds significant promise in revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility, offering standardized, objective, and efficient approaches to addressing this global health challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male Infertility—Diagnosis and Treatment)
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