Home Press Center Press Releases  Press Release

Press Releases

Urology Experts Available for Comment

LINTHICUM, MD, June 26, 2008—Tonight at 10:00 p.m. on ABC, the new reality show Hopkins premieres with an episode featuring Johns Hopkins Hospital’s first female urologist, American Urological Association (AUA) member and infertility expert Karen Boyle, MD, as she helps a couple try to overcome male infertility and conceive a child.



Male infertility is any condition in which the man adversely affects the chances of initiating a pregnancy with his female partner. Infertility affects approximately 15 percent of couples attempting to conceive a baby; one-third of couple infertility is due to the male alone, one-third due to the female alone and one-third due to both partners.


Diagnosis of male infertility is based on a complete medical history and physical examination, usually followed by blood work and semen analysis. The following are the most common factors leading to male infertility:

·   Sperm disorders:  Sperm may be underdeveloped, abnormally shaped or unable to move properly. Or, normal sperm may be produced in abnormally low numbers or seemingly not at all

·   Varicoceles: Dilated scrotal veins that impair sperm development

·   Retrograde ejaculation:  Semen pushes backward into the bladder instead of out the penis

·   Immunologic infertility: A man's immunologic response to his own sperm

·   Obstruction: Sperm blocked from its normal passage due to a vasectomy, infection or developmental problem

·   Hormones: When hormone levels are severely low, poor sperm development can result

·   Genetics: Abnormalities in chromosomal numbers, structure and/or deletion of the Y chromosome

·   Medication: Certain medications can affect sperm production, function and ejaculation


Treatment options for male infertility include:

·   Surgery: Minor outpatient surgery can be used to repair dilated scrotal veins and obstruction.

·   Medication: Drugs are key in correcting retrograde ejaculation and immunologic infertility

·   Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Placing the sperm directly into the uterus via a catheter

·   In vitro fertilization (IVF): Fertilization takes place outside the body in a laboratory Petri dish

·   Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): It involves injecting a single sperm directly into the egg with a microscopic needle and then, once it is fertilized, transferring it to the female partner's uterus

·   Vasectomy reversal: Surgical procedure to restore normal sperm flow



The AUA can assist in developing related story topics for infertility, such as:

·   How long is too long to try to conceive without success?

·   When should I see a urologist for infertility?

·   Infertility’s emotional consequences for men

·   Why men should also be tested for infertility


The American Urological Association (AUA) can provide information, statistics, and expert commentary on the subject of male infertility. Please contact Lacey Holt at 410-689-4054 to schedule an interview with one of the following experts:

·   Dr. Karen Boyle, assistant professor of urology at The Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Reproductive Medicine & Surgery at the Brady Urological Institute at Greenspring Station

·   Dr. Lawrence Ross, past-president of the AUA and the Clarence C. Saelhof Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Illinois

·   Dr. Craig Niederberger, chief of the Division of Andrology and Director of Urologic Basic Research at the University of Illinois


About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 15,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients, including UrologyHealth.org, an award-winning on-line patient education resource, and the American Urological Association Foundation, Inc.

Lacey Holt, AUA