Womens Health

Fertility Tests For Men

It Isn't Always Her

Even though there are still some corners where fertility is thought of only in terms of being a woman's issue, the fact is that infertility is attributable to both men and women. More than 30 percent of the time, a man's low fertility is the main obstacle to conception. That is why is it as important for men to be tested for fertility as it is for women. It can definitely be emotionally difficult for a man to undergo testing, but the reality is that the sooner he is tested, the sooner he can receive treatment and the couple can have a successful pregnancy.

A Visit To The Urologist

If, after 12 consecutive months of unprotected and frequent sex, a couple has not conceived they are termed infertile. It is at this point that an appointment with a urologist should be made to begin the process of evaluation of the man's fertility. An interview is done during which a full medical and reproductive history is taken along with any information about surgeries and medications taken. Questions about lifestyle, smoking, exercise, and drug use are also often asked. A frank and intimate discussion about sexually transmitted diseases or problems with sex is necessary to rule out these types of diseases as a factor. After the interview, a physical examination takes place.

In any male infertility examination and evaluation, a sample of the man's semen is necessary for an analysis. It may be done at the doctor's office or offsite and brought in very soon after ejaculation as the testing needs to be done when the sperm is fresh.

Testing The Semen And The Sperm

There are several different types of tests done to prove the efficacy of the sperm. A sperm and semen analysis assesses the man's sperm count, their shape, movement, and other variables. As a rule, the higher the number of normal-shaped sperm, the higher the fertility. Many men with low sperm counts or abnormally shaped semen prove to be infertile. Yet, about 15 percent of infertile men have normal semen and abundant normal sperm. After the first test, a second may be run to confirm the results. If both tests come back with normal results, it usually means there are no significant infertility issues. If the results are not normal, then another type of test may be required.

There Are Different Conditions Which Can Cause Male Infertility

When there is no sperm or semen, a condition called azoospermia is diagnosed. This can be a good thing because if there is a blockage, it can be treated with surgery very effectively. A thorough physical exam may uncover varicocole and provide information about hormone problems. A urologist is the best physician for a thorough male physical examination. A hormone test which measures testosterone, while not usually the culprit, are also tested. In 97 percent of infertile men, hormones are not the issue.

The most common cause of correctable infertility in men is varicocles. Up to 38 percent of male infertility, cases are due to the abnormal formations of veins above the testicles. This condition can be repaired with surgery.

Through proper testing of both the man and the woman, 85 percent of couples can address the cause of their infertility. Many such couples become pregnant within a year of treatment.

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