Even in the modern world, when a couple are struggling to conceive, it is often thought of as a “woman’s problem”. However, with around 20% of couples who have struggled to conceive for a year or more, the problem is entirely with the male partner, and it is for this reason that the female is having difficulty getting pregnant. It is therefore crucial that the male partner, as well as the female partner, get tested for infertility.
It is vital that the male partner undergoes fertility testing at the earliest opportunity as some men tend to put this off, and believe that the problem lies with the female partner. It is something that can put a lot of strain on a relationship at a time when both partners should be pulling together. A lot of male fertility problems can be easily rectified, so getting tested early may save a lot of unnecessary heartache, not to mention expense. It is an excellent and relatively inexpensive way of beginning to start the elimination process.
Men tend to avoid seeing doctors or visiting clinics if they have what would be described as personal problems. However, if you visit a specialist fertility clinic such as First Fertility, all the team will be sympathetic and experienced with dealing with this kind of problem. Although you may feel slightly embarrassed, all the tests are standard, straightforward procedures with the results available quickly.
The first test that will be conducted is a physical examination to determine if there is any trauma or a physical problem such as undescended testicles (testes) or unidentified lumps. In most cases, nothing will be identified, so it is merely the start of the elimination process.
The most common next stage is a semen analysis to check the quantity and quality of sperm which is present in the semen. You will be required to give a sample at the clinic as the test must take place as soon as possible after ejaculation. It is common for the doctor to request that you come back for a second test even if your first results are normal. The reason is semen can vary in quality and quantity on an almost daily basis which can be caused by several factors including diet, heat and stress. It is important to avoid ejaculation for 48 hours prior to the test.
What Does the Semen Analysis Detect?
The results of the semen analysis will show if no sperm are produced or not appearing in the semen (azoospermia). It can also detect a low sperm count (oligospermia) if there is a problem with the sperm’s movement (motility) as well as if they are an unusual shape or form (morphology). If any of these problems are identified, it will likely cause infertility, and the doctors will recommend further tests to determine if there is an underlying medical condition. The most common tests ordered are blood and urine tests. In some cases, an ultrasound or CT scan may be suggested.
What are the Common Causes of Male Infertility?
There are several potential causes of male infertility; some may be short-term while others may require some form of treatment. Here are some of the common problems: