Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Fertility Tests for Men

    Although many people still think of infertility as a "woman's problem," in about 20% of infertile couples, the man is the sole cause of the inability to conceive. In another 30%-40%, he is a contributing factor.

    So it's crucial that men get tested for fertility as well as women. Yes, it can be embarrassing, but discovering male fertility problems early can mean earlier treatment and a successful pregnancy. Male infertility testing can also spare women unnecessary discomfort and expense.

    Recommended Related to Infertility & Reproduction

    Fertility Drugs

    Fertility drugs remain the primary treatment for women with ovulation disorders; some are taken orally and some are injected. In general, these medications work by causing the release of hormones that either trigger or regulate ovulation. Even if you're using assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization, fertility drugs are still an important part of treatment. Since the number and names of all of the infertility medications may seem dizzying, here are the basic facts on the...

    Read the Fertility Drugs article > >

    Initial Male Infertility Evaluation

    A visit to a urologist should start the evaluation for male infertility. The urologist will likely begin with a basic interview and exam that includes:

    In any evaluation for male infertility, the man will need to provide a sample of semen for analysis, typically at the doctor's office or nearby. It's important that the analysis take place quickly.

    Male Infertility Tests

    Identifying the cause of a man's infertility is as much an art as a science. Male infertility specialists differ in their approach, but here are some of the tests a man can expect:

    Sperm and Semen Analysis

    A trained expert assesses the man's sperm count, their shape, movement, and other variables. Generally, a higher number of normal-shaped sperm means higher fertility. But exceptions are common. Many men with low sperm counts or abnormal semen are still fertile. And about 15% of infertile men have normal semen and plenty of normal sperm.

    If the first semen analysis is normal, the doctor may order a second test to confirm the results. Two normal tests are usually interpreted to mean that the man doesn't have any significant infertility problems. If something in the results looks irregular, the doctor might order further tests to pinpoint the problem.

    Surprisingly, if no semen or sperm at all are present (azoospermia), this can be a good thing. It might suggest a blockage in the "plumbing" that can be corrected with surgery.

    Next Article:

    When would you seek fertility help?