Improving the Chances for Conception: Fertility Testing for Men
When couples have difficulty conceiving it may be due to male infertility. Male infertility is referred to as the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected sex with a fertile woman.
There are many possible causes of male infertility, some stem from issues with the sperm while others may be related to anatomical factors. Fertility testing can help identify the likely causes of male infertility.
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, we offer fertility testing for men in Scottsdale, AZ, Gilbert, AZ, and surrounding areas as a first step to treating infertility and helping couples grow their families.
When Should You Seek Male Fertility Testing?
A couple is said to have fertility issues if they have had difficulty conceiving after a year of unprotected intercourse. Male fertility should be tested in such cases but may be done earlier depending on patient history.
Couples may seek male fertility testing before trying to conceive for a year if:
- Female fertility issues are already known
- Male history of difficulty conceiving with prior partners
- The female partner is in her 30s, especially 35 or older, which is when female fertility naturally declines
Testing Male Fertility
Male fertility testing begins with taking a detailed history. The history should include the male partner’s current and prior medical history, medications, recreational drug use, environmental factors, and other factors that can affect fertility.
After the male partner’s history is taken, laboratory testing and a physical evaluation can be performed through a semen analysis and urological evaluation.
About Semen Analysis
Semen analysis is a significant component of male fertility testing. During semen analysis, semen is collected following specific instructions after at least two to seven days of abstinence. The collected semen is then analyzed in a laboratory where the following components are evaluated:
- Volume of semen produced
- Number, or concentration, of sperms in the semen
- Shape of sperms, referred to as “morphology”
- Motility of sperms to determine the percentage of living sperms
About Urological Evaluations
A urological evaluation may be completed to further identify male fertility issues. Urological evaluations look to sources beyond semen that may be causing infertility, such as hormones and the anatomy of the reproductive system. A urological evaluation may include:
- A physical examination
- Ultrasound examination
- Hormone evaluation
- Chromosome evaluation
Based on what’s revealed during the evaluation, treatments may be devised to address possible causes of infertility, such as hormonal or anatomical issues that can be treated with hormonal or surgical treatments respectively.
Using Male Fertility Test Results to Treat Infertility
Determining the possible causes of male infertility helps in selecting fertility treatments specific to each patient that are most likely to result in pregnancy.
Patients with severe issues with sperm quality or quantity may successfully father children with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which involves injecting sperm directly into an egg, while those with minor issues may benefit from Intrauterine Insemination.
Learn More about Male Fertility Testing
Male fertility tests can help identify possible causes of male infertility and provide a path to treatment. If you live in or around Scottsdale and would like to learn more about male fertility testing, please call (623) 469-3992 to schedule a consultation.