Despite the fact that many people still are inclined to view infertility as the woman’s problem, roughly one third of infertile couples battle to get pregnant because of the ‘male factor’, and in a small percentage of couples both the man and the woman have infertility issues.
While your lady will need to undergo some testing to see precisely where the problem lies, you will need to have a male infertility test to find out what your role is in the situation.
Each person or couple may have to undergo different tests determined by the unique circumstance.
You will need to inform your doctor on your complete medical history: any medication, any STDs, any operations, any childhood diseases. This is not the time to be timid; your doctor needs to know everything in order to reach an accurate diagnosis.
Smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, caffeine – all of these can affect your fertility.
The doctor will also need a record of your full sexual history: the number of sexual partners, when you reached puberty, any high risk sexual behaviors, your first sexual encounters, any STDs – all of these are significant.
Even though you are shy about speaking about past STDs or similar things you don’t want to waste money and time having blood tests for the doctor to figure it out anyway. The doctors are there to help, not to judge.
You will also need to have a complete physical examination just to exclude any obvious problems. Here the doctor will look for enlarged veins on the scrotum (otherwise known as variococeles) and will check for any testicular abnormalities.
Hormonal problems might also be picked up in the physical.
A semen analysis is crucial.
You could need up to three tests to verify that results are accurate.
This means ejaculating into a cup or container provided by the doctor.
You may be asked not to ejaculate for a few days before to get a more accurate sperm count.
The sample will be sent for testing and the pathologists will check a number of things:
· Quantity? – They measure the entire volume of semen produced – typically a teaspoon is adequate.
· Sperm movement – The sperm cells should be swimming vigorously. It doesn’t make a difference what stroke they swim – as long as they are moving well!
· Sperm count – How many spermies are there in all? The testers will set aside a small sample of the semen and work out how many sperm cells are present and then estimate the number for the full amount of semen. At a standard rate of about 40 million sperm for each ejaculation no one is counting exactly!
· Sperm quality – If the spermies aren’t fully developed or if they are deformed they won’t be able to move well and might not be able burrow through the outer covering of the egg.
· pH levels – Slightly acidic semen is most helpful to sperm.
· Semen – The semen needs to be just the right consistency for the sperm to be able to move effectively.
Depending on the conclusions of these tests you may require additional testing. This might include:
· Blood testing – to check general health and hormone quantities.
· Testicle tissue test – to look for healthy sperm producing cells.
· Scans – will find variococeles or obstructed tubes.
· Sperm might be tested by leaving them in a dish with a dead human egg or a hamster egg. There is no chance of creating a living embryo from these trials.
· Anti-sperm antibody tests to check that the neither the woman’s cervical mucus nor the man’s own body manufacture antibodies to the man’s sperm.
· Irregularities with sperm manufacture can be detected through genetic testing.
· A post-coital test. Both the man and the woman are tested – even though the woman is the one who is examined. This test determines how many sperm actually get to the cervix by taking samples from the cervix a day after intercourse, usually close to the time of ovulation.
Don’t let pride interfere with your plans to get a male infertility test. You could save your partner and yourself a ton of time and money, let alone emotional stress that goes with trying to conceive!
If you are a male and shy that you may have a problem, you can start the process at home by grabbing an at home test kit. This SpermCheck Fertility Home Sperm Test can at least test sperm count.
Although this won’t be as reliable as going to a doctor and getting a thorough exam, it may help indicate the problem.
And like I said, the nice part is it will be shipped to you and you can do all of the steps yourself.
It’s also a cost effective way to get the ball rolling as well.