Andrology: Current and Future Developments


Author(s): Marco G. Alves and Pedro F. Oliveira

Pp: 1-5 (5)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681085005117010003

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Andrology has emerged since the 1950’s, when gynecologists started to consistently refer to this word. However, in 1891, there was already an editorial in JAMA suggesting that andrology could evolve to become an important discipline. It was proposed that, as gynecology is a discipline that is focused on the study of genitourinary female system, andrology could emerge as the discipline focused on the genitourinary system of males. For many years, this issue was disregarded and there was a long period until the first societies of andrology appeared and establish it in a definitive way. This historical affirmation of andrology as a discipline will be briefly presented, together with a critical view on some aspects that are still a matter of controversy. Reproductive science is a growing discipline that needs economic support from health care systems, institutions responsible for funding research, and training centers. There was never a greater need for trained and well-prepared scientists and physicians to study human reproductive health. Most countries, developed and developing, are witnessing unprecedented rates of people seeking for assisted reproductive technologies. Decreased sperm quality and male reproductive complications are factors that unquestionably contribute to the observed decline in nativity rates. On the other hand, even though females have various contraceptive methods available, men are still limited. This could be improved if more knowledge on sperm formation, maturation and overall testicular physiology arises. In this introductory chapter, we will discuss some challenges for the upcoming years in the field of Andrology.

Keywords: Andrology, Male reproductive tract, Male fertility, Male reproductive health.

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