You and your partner have been trying to have a baby for more than a year. Both of you are wondering if you have issues on infertility. So be the first to suggest having yourselves checked. That way, there is no more second-guessing and you can get the answers you need.
There are several male fertility tests that you can take. But it is best to have a professional guide you. The first thing you should do is to consult a urologist.
The doctor will check your medical history. What surgeries have you had? What medications have you taken or are still taking? Do you exercise, what sort and how often? Do you smoke, drink coffee or alcohol a lot or have you done recreational drugs? It is important you explain everything truthfully as these details affect the outcome. You have to be open about your sex life too and be honest on whether you were treated for STD’s or sexually transmitted diseases.
Then you will have a physical exam. Sometimes, the doctor may find varicoceles, enlarged veins above the testicles. Around 15 out of 100 men have it. Although varicoceles do not always lead to infertility, it can bring it about. Surgery can correct this problem.
Sperm and Semen Analysis
They will ask for a sample of your semen for analysis. A trained expert will check your sperm count, shape, movement and other characteristics.
These are the things measured:
- Volume – how much semen you produce
- Total Count – total number of sperm in the semen sample
- Concentration – the number of sperm in each milliliter of semen
- Motility – the percentage of sperm that are moving
- Morphology – if the sperm is the right shape or not
The analysis can also check for infections in your reproductive system. Two samples in two visits might be needed. You may give the samples in two different days two weeks apart to thoroughly check if something is wrong. If something in the results does not seem right, the doctor might order more male infertility tests to pinpoint the problem.
Hormones in your body control the production of sperm. They also affect your interest in sex and your ability to have sex. These hormones include testosterone (T) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Through blood tests, your doctor can check the levels of these hormones in your body. If needed, your doctor may also check the levels of other hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol and prolactin.
Genetic Testing among Male Infertility Tests
Genetic testing for male infertility is not necessary for all. Only those that require it get genetic testing as recommended by a fertility expert.
Some options include cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) testing for men with congenital absence of the vas, while karyotype, Y chromosome microdeletions (YCMD). You may need other specific genetic tests for severe oligospermia (where there are less than 5 million sperm per milliliter of semen) or non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA).
The results of these genetic tests will guide the doctor to determine the necessary steps needed at treating your infertility.
Certain antibodies can attach to the sperm and attack the sperm on its way to the egg. This can keep your partner from getting pregnant. The anti-sperm antibodies test will help determine if this is affecting your fertility.
These are just some tests that evaluate male fertility. So don’t hesitate to consult a urologist or fertility specialist. Taking these steps will lead you to the right way of getting the right treatment.
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