Fertility Tests for Men

The natural capability of giving or the ability of giving birth to an offspring through normal sexual intercourse is called fertility. It is also referred to as power of reproduction. Approximately half of the fertility problems are because of disorders in the male partners. According to a survey around twenty percent to thirty percent of the couples face problems in conceiving because of low fertility or complete absence of fertility in the male partner. 

The person’s health condition and previous chronic illness or surgery or injury are taken into consideration during the initial stage of the evaluation process to determine the exact cause of infertility.

Discovering infertility problems in the male partner as early as possible can help to achieve a successful treatment and pregnancy at the earliest. It is arbitrarily assumed to have infertility problems with either or both of the partners having sexual intercourse without any kind of contraception for around a year. For the examination of infertility problems the male partner is required to present a sample of his semen for analysis by the doctor. It is generally collected in laboratory in a sterile container. A non spermicidal condom may be used if the person cannot ejaculate through masturbation. 

Tests for evaluation of the Sperm

  • Sperm or Semen Analysis

The male partner is required to submit a sample of his semen to check for fertility. A trained expert then assesses the semen for fertility. It is generally advised to avoid ejaculation for two to five days prior to semen analysis because that would decrease the sperm count. Also it is advised not to avoid it for more than a week or two because that would make the sperm lesser active. Along with that men should avoid having alcoholic beverages. They should also discuss with the evaluating physician about the current medications, if any, that they are undergoing. The semen is analyzed for sperm count, sperm shape, sperm mobility, semen volume, semen liquefaction time, semen pH levels, semen white blood cells count, semen fructose levels and many other variables. A higher fertility is analyzed by higher number of normal shaped sperms but this is not the only criterion men with lower sperm count are also fertile.

  • Physical Exam

Physical examination of the male partner can also confirm fertility. This includes examination of the reproduction system as well as examination of the testicle size. This physical examination helps in the detection of varicocoeles which is helpful in diagnosing problems with the hormones. Generally an urologist performs the physical examination.

  • Hormone Evaluation

In males, a hormone named testosterone along with some other hormones is responsible for controlling the production of sperms. These hormones are developed in the brain. Though according to the recent study, hormones are not the cause of infertility among most of the men

  • Genetic Testing

Sometimes the problem associated with the infertility is genetic in nature. For this reason special genetic tests need to be conducted so as to identify whether the cause of infertility is genetic and if so then what is the reason behind it so that treatment can be made in that direction.

Though the above tests can reveal the reason behind infertility of the male partner, about 20% of cases the cause of infertility is found to be unexplained. Evaluation using the above tests by the experts and the right method of treatment can result in success.

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