The testes produce the male hormone testosterone as well as sperm. While it is not common for men of reproductive age to have abnormal testosterone levels, having abnormalities in sperm production (azoospermia or oligospermia) associated with normal testosterone levels is much more prevalent in men of reproductive age.
And, while problems with the testes producing sperm or even blockages that prevent sperm from getting out can sometimes be detected through findings in the physical exam or in blood work, there are a number of times when the causes of abnormalities in sperm production cannot be determined. In this case, Dr. Lerner may recommend that a diagnostic testicular biopsy is performed.
What is a Diagnostic Testicular Biopsy?
When performing a diagnostic testicular biopsy, Dr. Lerner takes a small, pea-sized amount of tissue out of one or both testes and sends the tissue to the pathology lab for examination. A testicular biopsy is usually performed when an obstruction is suspected.
Even though the procedure is quite simple, it is best performed at a center like Chesapeake Urology's Male Infertility Clinic by a highly trained urologist such as Dr. Lerner, who has extensive experience with male infertility.