The role of clinical pathologists in the management of male infertility

EK Oghagbon, SS Taiwo, MO Buhari, DP Oparinde



Male infertility is receiving increasing attention in Africa as up to 50% of cases of infertility are ascribed to it. In the management of this condition, the clinical laboratory plays a crucial role especially in the proper identification of causes of infertility. The role of the pathologists in this respect stems from the choice of laboratory equipment, reagents, type of samples needed, proper sample collection and its preparation. Added to these functions, the pathologist should help in the proper selection of required tests so as to ensure optimum diagnosis and treatment efficiency. Semen analysis is the first test required in the laboratory assessment of the infertile male. The obtained spermogram serves as the pivot for further tests which include hormonal assays, tissue studies and karyotyping. There is a disturbing high prevalence of azoospermia among Nigerians. The expected laboratory evaluation and treatment of such patients and others with abnormal spermogram are discussed in this review.

Key Words: Male infertility, review.

Afr. J. Clin. Exper. Microbiol. Vol.6(1) 2005: 69-76