Management of male neurologic patients with infertility.Handb Clin Neurol. 2015; 130:435-49.HC
Many aspects of fertility rely on intact neurologic function and thus neurologic diseases can result in infertility. While research into general female fertility and alterations in male semen quality is limited, we have an abundance of knowledge regarding ejaculatory dysfunction following nerve injury. Normal ejaculation is the result of coordinated reflex activity involving both the sympathetic and somatic nervous systems. Nerve injury can result in retrograde ejaculation, and anejaculation. With retrograde ejaculation, the ejaculate is propelled into the bladder instead of out through the urethra. In mild cases this condition can be reversed by sympathomimetic medications and, in more severe cases, sperm cells can be extracted from the bladder following ejaculation. With anejaculation, the ejaculatory reflex is not activated by normal sexual stimulation. In such cases, the first choice of treatment is assisted ejaculation, preferably by penile vibratory stimulation. If vibratory stimulation is unsuccessful, then ejaculation can almost always be induced by electroejaculation. In cases where assisted ejaculation fails, sperm can be retrieved surgically from either the epididymis or from the testis. Once viable sperm cells have been obtained, these are used in assisted reproductive techniques, including intravaginal insemination, intrauterine insemination, and in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection.