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Karen Christine Baker, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery

I am a Urologist with fellowship training in male fertility and microsurgery. I utilize surgical, medical, and lifestyle interventions in my practice and I work hand-in-hand with our female reproductive specialists to help couples reach their goal of having a baby.  I arrived at Duke after serving 24 years in the Army as a Urologist and male fertility specialist. During my time in the Army I was a Primary or Associate Investigator for over 30 industry sponsored or investigator initiated clinical and basic science trials.
There is much we do not know about infertility in general and male infertility in particular.  My research interests include quantifying the impact of common medical conditions on male fertility and investigating their pathogenic effects on spermatogenesis and sperm function,  delineating the impact of male factor infertility on outcomes of assisted reproductive techniques, and investigating the efficacy of medical therapy for male factor infertility.  I am also interested in the social, psychological and health impacts of infertility.

Education and Training

  • Crile Research Fellow, Surgery/Urology, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, 2012 - 2013
  • Male Infertility Fellow, Surgery, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, 2011 - 2012
  • Urology Resident, Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, 1998 - 2001
  • General Surgery Resident, Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, 1997 - 1998
  • General Surgery Intern, Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, 1995 - 1996
  • M.D., Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, 1995


Hertz, Alexandria M., Andrew W. Stamm, Mark I. Anderson, and Karen C. Baker. “Impact of surgical volume and resident involvement on patency rates after vasectomy reversal-A 14-year experience in an open access system.” Asian J Urol 8, no. 2 (April 2021): 197–203.

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Janssen, Karmon M., Neris M. Nieves-Robbins, Trevor B. Echelmeier, David K. Nguyen, and Karen C. Baker. “Could Nonenhanced Computer Tomography Suffice as the Imaging Study of Choice for the Screening of Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria?” Urology 120 (October 2018): 36–41.

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Starks, C., A. M. Zampini, N. N. Tadros, J. McGill, K. Baker, and E. S. Sabanegh. “Reduction in Opioid Prescribing Using a Postoperative Pain Management Protocol following Scrotal and Subinguinal Surgery.” Urology Practice 5, no. 3 (May 1, 2018): 217–22.

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Baker, Karen, Jianbo Li, and Edmund Sabanegh. “Analysis of semen parameters in male referrals: impact of reference limits, stratification by fertility categories, predictors of change, and comparison of normal semen parameters in subfertile couples.” Fertil Steril 103, no. 1 (January 2015): 59-65.e5.

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Khurana, Kiranpreet K., Karen Baker, Tianming Gao, and Edmund S. Sabanegh. “The economic burden of genetic tests for the infertile male: a pilot algorithm to improve test predictive value.” J Urol 191, no. 4 (April 2014): 1066–71.

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Baker, Karen, and Edmund Sabanegh. “Sperm Surgical Retrieval Techniques: Critical Review.” In Medical & Surgical Management of Male Infertility. Jaypee Brothers,Medical Publishers Pvt. Limited, 2013.