Background: Infertility is a major cause of marital disharmony in Nigeria because of the high premium placed on childbearing. Unfortunately, the blame is on the woman most times in Nigeria. Seminiferous tubules comprise 80-90% of testicular mass. Thus, the testicular volume is an index of spermatogenesis. Therefore, accurate testicular volume will help in assessing testicular function if there is no obstruction. This study was conducted to evaluate the correlation between testicular volume, measured by ultrasound and conventional sperm parameters (semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility and sperm morphology) in men with infertility presenting to Urology Division, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada Abuja.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross sectional study, male subjects with infertility presenting to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital were recruited into the study. The testicular volume of all the subjects was measured by ultrasonography. The semen samples were collected by the process of masturbation on day five of sexual abstinence and analyzed according to WHO criteria 2010. Collated data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. P-value<0.05 was taken as statistically significant.
Results: The average total testicular volume (TTV) of men with infertility was 19.83 ml while mean testicular volume (MTV) was 10.24 ml. There was a statistically significant difference between MTV and semen volume (r=0.391, p=0.000), and sperm concentration (r=0.639, p=0.000). There was a weak and insignificant correlation between MTV and sperm motility and MTV and morphology (r=0.216, p=0.055 and r=0.076, p=0.502) respectively. Linear regression analysis showed significant impact of MTV (P<0.001) on sperm concentration with a critical MTV of ≤10ml.0 indicating poor testicular function (severe oligospermia)
Conclusion: The mean ultrasonic testicular volume in men with infertility in this study was 10.24ml and there was a significant positive correlation of MTV with semen volume and sperm concentration. Although, there was correlation of MTV with sperm motility and morphology, this was not significant. The critical mean ultrasonic testicular volume indicating poor testicular function (severe oligospermia) was found to be 10ml. This study has shown that the mean ultrasonic testicular volume can be a pointer to semen volume and sperm concentration in evaluating men with infertility.
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