Most people think women are usually responsible for infertility. In reality, infertility is often linked to health problems with men.
If you’re a man and your wife isn’t getting pregnant, despite the fact that this is something you dream of, be proactive and pay your doctor a visit. There is a wide range of diagnostic services through which you can have your male fertility checked.
Your initial step in your journey for your fertility checkup is a visit to your trusted Urologist who is well-recognized for his expertise in diagnosing and treating male infertility. He will start assessing your medical concern through questions about your general health, in addition to medical, drug and family history. This would be followed by a detailed and thorough physical examination.
Detecting the cause of your infertility is as much an art as a science. Male infertility experts have diverse ways of diagnosing the cause behind your delayed fathering of a baby, but here are some of the most common diagnostic tests you may need to proceed for:
It analyzes the health and viability of your sperms. Semen is the fluid containing sperm (plus other sugar and protein substances) that’s released during male ejaculation. A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health:
- Concentration (often called “count”) – how many sperm are in each ml of semen?
- Motility – what percent of them are swimming forward?
- Morphology – what percent of them are normally shaped?
If the first semen analysis is normal, your doctor may order a second test to confirm the results. Two normal tests usually mean you don’t have any significant infertility problems. If something in the results looks unusual, your doctor might order more tests to pinpoint the problem.
A testicular ultrasound exam (also referred to as a scrotal ultrasound) is non-invasive procedure for checking whether or not a physical abnormality in the testicles is making a man infertile. It can be described as a fertility test. When male factor infertility is suspected, it’s almost always the initial imaging test a doctor will recommend.
Assessment is aimed at evaluation of the shape of the testicles, patency of the ducts through which your sperms flow forward as well as rule out the presence of one of the most-prominent threats for sperm viability; the Varicocele.
Varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of the veins in the scrotum (the bag of skin which contains the testicles). The condition is quite similar to varicose veins, which affect the legs. Varicocele can cause low sperm production and the production of poor quality sperm. Despite the fact that medical professionals are still not precisely sure about the mechanism of how Varicocele can harm the sperms, one famous theory is that the enlarged veins prevents the blood in the testicles from cooling off, and that this increase in temperature negatively impacts sperm production.
This can provide valuable information on the state of sperm production. Abnormalities involving any of the male fertility hormones that can cause infertility. The standard hormone evaluation includes an FSH, testosterone, LH, and prolactin.
When sperm concentration is extremely low, there could be a genetic cause. A blood test can reveal whether there are subtle changes in the Y chromosome — signs of a genetic abnormality. Genetic testing might be ordered to diagnose various congenital or inherited syndromes.
Due to some abnormality in the immune system of the body, some men have abnormal antibodies that attack its own sperm, which keeps your wife from getting pregnant.
Don’t hesitate to get tests to check your fertility. When you and your partner do this, it will help you figure out what’s going on, and let you learn about treatment.
As a summary, although some people still think of fertility as a “woman’s problem,” in 20% of infertile couples, the problem is solely with the male partner. Infertility in a man may be the only reason that a couple can’t conceive, or it may simply add to the difficulties caused by infertility in his wife.
So it’s crucial that men get tested for fertility as well as women. It’s also important that men do it early. Though some guys may want to put off being tested (possibly to avoid embarrassment), early testing can spare them and their wives a great deal of unnecessary discomfort and expense. It’s also a good way to quickly narrow down potential problems.
Prof. Ralf Herwig,
Urologist & Men`s Health Expert