If you are a man who is trying to conceive a baby with your partner but are not having any luck, it is a good idea to test your fertility. Many men feel embarrassed or ashamed to have their fertility tested, but it is a worthwhile endeavor if you are trying to have a baby. Testing gives you the peace of mind to know there is no problem, or if there is a problem, it helps you take steps to resolve it. The first step to addressing your concerns about your fertility is to come into our men’s health clinic and see a physician today.
First, your physician will perform an evaluation on you. They will ask you questions about your medical history and lifestyle, such as any medications you take, how often and how you exercise, and any surgeries you have had. They will also ask you questions about your sexual history, and they may ask for a sample of your semen for analysis.
A fertility specialist will analyze your sperm. They will determine your sperm count, as well as the shape, movement, and other characteristics. As a general rule, the higher the normal-shaped sperm count, the high the fertility, but there are exceptions. Many men with low sperm counts are fertile, and around 15 percent of infertile men have normal numbers of sperm.
If the first test seems normal, your doctor may request a second one for confirmation. If both tests are normal, you likely don’t have infertility problems. If one of the tests seems off, your physician may perform more tests to identify the issue. In some cases, a man may have no semen or sperm. This can often be corrected with surgery.
Your doctor may also call for a physical evaluation. This is to assess whether or not there are any abnormalities in the veins around the testicles. If this is the case, it can be corrected with surgery.
Genetic and Hormone Testing
Genetic testing may identify specific fertility issues, but it is not performed for everyone. Testosterone is responsible for making sperm, so your doctor may require hormone testing to eliminate the possibility of a hormone imbalance. However, the majority of the time, infertility issues are not caused by hormone issues.
Possible Causes of Low Sperm Count
If your body makes enough sperm, there are other reasons why you may have low sperm count.
- Blockage. There may be something blocking the path from the testicles to the penis.
- Retrograde ejaculation. This is a condition in which the sperm ejaculates backwards into the bladder, and is often caused by previous surgeries.
- Lack of vas deferens. Some men are born without the vas deferens, which is the main route sperm take.
- Anti-sperm antibodies. Some men have antibodies that will attack sperm, preventing conception.
Clearly, there are many things that could be going on if you are having trouble impregnating your partner. The best course of action is to come to our men’s health clinic and consult with a physician. We can help you determine the cause of your infertility, and what you should do to address it. Contact us today.