When couples are having trouble conceiving – typically after one year of trying – the issue can be from either by the male or female. Before you can be sure, you should have fertility tests done. A medical professional can only diagnose infertility after a series of tests have been administered. In cases of infertility, issues with the male are the cause 40 percent of the time. Low sperm count is the sole cause of infertility in one-third of those cases, but other issues prevent fertilization.
Types of Male Fertility Tests
There are a variety of fertility tests males can take. Some of those tests include:
- Hormone Evaluations
- Genetic Testing
- Sperm and Semen Analysis
- Physical Exams
During hormone evaluations, the testosterone levels are tested. These hormones control your sperm production.
A physical exam allows a medical expert to test you for common hormone issues. You should have this male fertility test done by a urologist.
Genetic testing is done to see if you have any gene mutations or disorders that can lead to infertility. You will also be tested to see if any of your traits can be passed on to your future children.
During a sperm and semen analysis, the sperm count is tested. The shape and movement of your sperm is also tested. You will have at least two sperm and semen analysis done to confirm the results. The higher your normal-shaped sperm count is, the higher your chances at fertility are.
Causes of Male Infertility
There are various issues that lead to infertility in males. Some of those causes are:
- Undescended Testicles – This is caused during fetal development. Your testicles do not descend from the abdomen into the sac.
- Varicocele – The veins that drain your testicle are swollen, which means your sperm count is decreased, and fewer sperm moves because your testicles do not receive normal cooling.
- Anti-bodies – anti-sperm antibodies may eliminate your sperm all together because they see the sperm as harmful invaders.
- Tumors – If you have a tumor, your reproductive organs such as purity glands, can be affected. These glands may be prevented from releasing the hormones necessary for reproduction. Surgeries that treat tumors can also cause infertility in males.
- Infection – An infection can affect your sperm health or production. Sexually transmitted infections can lead to infertility. Scarring caused by infections can also block the passage of your sperm.
- Retrograde Ejaculation – Typically caused by health issues such as diabetes, prostate, and medications taken for health reasons. Even though you produce sperm, you are unable to ejaculate the semen. During an orgasm, your sperm enters your bladder instead of coming out through the tip of your penis.
If you have fertility issues, this does not mean you will not become a father. There are various options available to you and your partner. You can use donor sperm, or you can adopt. The donor sperm can be used for both In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and artificial insemination. It is best to have testing done so a specialist can tell you why you are having fertility issues, and what are the best options for you and your partner.