What Male Fertility Tests Can Discover
We often focus so much on a woman’s fertility that we overlook the fact that men can have fertility issues as well. Male fertility problems account for close to 40 percent of couples who are undergoing fertility treatments. If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for over a year without any luck, then it’s time for both of you to get tested for fertility problems.
What Male Fertility Tests Look For
There are several male fertility tests that are used to help determine whether or not the male is responsible for a couple’s inability to conceive. Here is an overview of each one and what they look for.
Semen Analysis: A semen analysis looks at several things, including the count, shape and mobility of the sperm. This helps to determine whether or not the sperm count and quality is what it should be in order to be able to fertilize an egg.
Physical Exam: During the physical exam the doctor (usually a urologist) will look for any obvious signs of injury or illness to the penis and testicles.
Urinalysis: A simple urine test can help to rule out infection as well as alert the doctor to a problem such as ejaculation retrograde. If sperm is found in the urine sample then that indicates possible ejaculation retrograde.
Vasography: This is an x-ray that can determine whether there is a leakage or a blockage of sperm in the vas deferens, which is a tube that connects the urethra and the testicles.
Ultrasound: And ultrasonogrpahy can help to locate any damage to the reproductive tract.
What Else Can He Expect
Before any male fertility tests are conducted, the doctor will want to talk about the medical history as well as sexual history. A male should be prepared to talk frankly about things such as any drug or alcohol use, smoking and sexual practices. If he has ever had a sexually transmitted infection, then the doctor will need to know about that as well since some STIs can cause infertility.
In most cases, the doctor will not send a patient for more than the initial male fertility tests unless there is specific cause for concern or the female partner has been tested and found to have no problems with fertility.