Men have a tendency to ignore the fact that fertility issues aren’t just a female problem with men having problems with infertility in almost 50% of cases. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive naturally, both of you should go a fertility check-up. Our quick guide will help you to understand why male fertility is vital will you help to understand why you need a male fertility check-up in Thailand.
Semen Analysis or Seminogram
The standard test for male fertility in Thailand or anywhere else is a semen analysis. The test will establish whether semen are present, if they have a normal shape (morphology) and if there are any issues with movement (motility). Some semen analysis can be conducted at home with purchased over-the-counter kits while other tests need to be conducted in a professional clinic.
Over-the-counter tests are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, although they offer little by way of clinical value. It is useful if you are interested in the general health of your sperm, especially if you not looking to conceive at present. The tests are comparable to pregnancy tests although they lack the accuracy. Two blue lines will be displayed if the male has more than 20 million sperm per millilitre of semen but will give no indication about their overall health.
A clinical semen analysis conducted in Thailand will be more expensive, but the information is far more valuable. If you and your partner have been trying to conceive without success, a clinical sperm analysis should be conducted. The most important factor with this form of test is that a qualified medical expert will properly evaluate the results. Typically, tests need to be performed at least twice as semen parameters frequently fluctuate for a wide variety of reasons.
Semen Analysis Parameters
It is crucial to be aware that male fertility is a very complex area. Even the most sophisticated of lab semen analysis tests cannot guarantee if you are fertile or not. The appearance of sperm can be deceiving, and healthy-looking sperm means very little. The test will help to rule out some of the most common problems. It will give your doctor some information that will allow them to make recommendations regarding the best course of treatment. Here is what the test will show:
- The Concentration of Sperm: this should be over 15 million per millilitre
- Motility: this should be above 40% to be regarded as “regular movement.”
- Morphology: this is the least important factor, but a score of 4% would be considered “normal.”
When is a Seminogram Used?
Although the primary use of a semen analysis is for those concerned about their inability in father children, it does have other purposes. The most common alternative use is to verify the success of vasectomy, arguably a use that is equally as important. The standard practice is for this to be conducted ten weeks after the vasectomy and twenty ejaculations. Even after this period and confirmation of no sperm being present, no clinic will offer 100 per cent guarantees to its permanent success.
Preparation for Semen Analysis
Your doctor will give you detailed instructions regarding the preparations that you should make prior to your semen analysis. The accuracy of the results will depend on you carefully following the instructions.
To get the best possible results, the patient should avoid ejaculation for between 24 and 72 hours before providing a sample for analysis. This means avoiding sexual intercourse as well as any other form of sexual activity resulting in ejaculation. The patient should also avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol, along with taking non-prescription drugs for three to five days before the test.
If you take any form of herbal medication either for fertility or otherwise, this should also be avoided for five days before the test. If you are taking any hormonal medication, you should discuss this with your doctor. The same is also true of any prescription medication. It would be best if you always were honest with the doctors to obtain the best results.
Hormones play an essential role in many human functions, and this is undoubtedly the case with sperm production problems. However, even with normal hormone levels, the test does not guarantee that you are fertile. The most frequently used forms of hormone testing with regards to fertility are:
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): this is an essential hormone for sperm production. Doctors will be looking for readings of between 5 and 10ml/U/mL.
- Testosterone: this is the hormone that most males are aware of and has a close association with sperm production. Typical ranges vary enormously between 300 and 1,100 nanograms per decilitre.
Less Common Male Fertility Checks
If the clinic has conducted all of the tests outlined above, they may suggest taking one or more of the tests below. None of the tests should cause any concern and may help to identify and rectify the problem. By merely taking the tests, it may give you some extra peace of mind.
Sperm Production Tests
If the semen analysis identified that the man has azoospermia (absence of sperm) or oligospermia (low sperm count), further tests could be conducted to determine the reason. A straightforward X-ray or ultrasound may be able to establish if there is a blockage somewhere in the reproductive tract. An alternative test may result in your doctor, suggesting a testicular biopsy to develop more information about the male’s sperm production.
Motility issue are frequently identified as being the primary concern. Certain checks can be conducted, such as checking antibodies in the blood to establish if something is impeding the ability of the sperm to reach the egg. For example, these antibodies may become affixed to the tail of the sperm or be a reason for sperm becoming clustered together.
Egg Penetration Problems
Tests for this problem include the Acrosome Reaction Test, Hemizona Assay Test and the Sperm Penetration Assay. The solution for this problem once identified, is usually ICSI which involves sperm being directly injected into the eggs for fertilisation.