Phone: (713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Sep 18, 2014 — by Larry Lipshultz

A happy couple sitting togetherPatients throughout Texas have visited Dr. Larry Lipshultz in Houston to get the treatment that they need for their men's health issue. Dr. Lipshultz is well-equipped and highly experienced in diagnosing and successfully treating different kinds of male infertility. Much of this success is thanks to the use of advanced diagnostic technology.

Ultrasound scanning is especially important for proper treatment. We'd like to look at the basics of male ultrasound scanning and why it's such an important part of successful male infertility treatment.

What is an ultrasound and how does it work?

Also referred to as a sonogram, ultrasound is a safe, painless, and non-invasive way for medical specialists to produce a detailed picture of various organs. Whereas x-rays use radiation to create imagery, ultrasound uses high-frequnency sound waves.

In essence, the process is similar to the echolocation of bats and submarines. A sound wave is sent out. When the sound wave hits an object, an echo is sent back. Measuring the echos that are bounced back helps create a detailed image of the part of the body being scanned.

Why would ultrasound be used to assess male infertility?

An ultrasound can be used to examine the scrotum, the testicles, the epididymis (the tube that transports the sperm from the testicle), the blood vessels of the groin and testicular area, and so forth. The ultrasound doesn't involve radiation, meaning that the imagery that is produced is accurate without risking any unnecessary radiation exposure to the male sex organs.

Conditions That Scrotal Ultrasound Can Identify

Scrotal ultrasounds are ideal for assessing the following male infertility issues:

  • Identifying blockages/obstructions that affect fertility
  • Helping determine the exact cause of azoospermia (low sperm count)
  • Identifying lumps in the testicles or scrotum
  • Identifying other potential abnormalities that affect fertility

Preparing for a Male Ultrasound Test

Thankfully there is little to no preparation required for a testicular ultrasound. Patients are simply asked to wear clothes that are loose-fitting and comfortable. Any jewelry or accessories will be removed prior to the ultrasound imaging.

If you have any concerns or worries going into the ultrasound, be sure to speak with your physician about the matter to put your mind at ease.

What to Expect During Male Ultrasound Testing

As noted above, the ultrasound process is painless, so there will be no need for general or local anesthetic to be used as part of the scanning process.

Patients will lie flat on an examination table. Gel will be placed on the scrotum to ensure a proper read from the transducer used for the scan. The ultrasound technician will then place the transducer against the scrotum and testicles in order to produce an image on a monitor.

The overall ultrasound procedure will take roughly 15 to 30 minutes. More time may be required in some cases. Patients will be able to return to work and other normal activities after their ultrasound visit.

Determining the Right Treatment for You

Using the ultrasound image, Dr. Lipshultz will be able to determine how to best meet your needs. This is simply a means of providing accurate and customized care that best serves each patient. This level of care can only be provided thanks to advanced diagnostic tools like ultrasound scanning.

Learn More About Male Fertility Treatments

To learn more about treating male infertility and which options for care may be the best for you and your needs, be sure to contact our men's health center today. Dr. Lipshultz looks forward to discussing such matters with you in greater detail and helping you start the family that you have always wanted.