Male infertility issues account for about a third of all fertility disorders. A man may be perfectly healthy, but his sperm is of poor quality.
A few men may have more serious medical issues. This condition might include low testosterone levels or low male sex hormones.
The most important male infertility test is sperm analysis. It provides an exact count of sperm, their motility which means the ability to move, and their morphology which indicates size and shape.
It also explains the volume and consistency of the ejaculated sample.
The optimum specimen for this test should be less than two hours old. It needs to be obtained through masturbation. Generally, the entire amount of ejaculation is collected in a sterile container.
In this article, we will look at the male fertility test, its various steps, and a lot more.
Male Fertility Test
When looking for a men’s fertility specialist, you should always look for a urologist who has completed fertility specialized training.
This is mostly because these are such doctors that spend one to two years after completing their urology training learning how to treat infertile guys.
It is also very important that you bring your wife or partner to your consultation because pregnancy is a team sport. Also because both of you might feel too much pressure trying to conceive.
Here are some pointers to help you prepare for your first appointment:
- If your doctor wants to check your sperm on the same day as your visit, don’t ejaculate for two to five days before your appointment. Masturbation is included in this.
- Bring all of your medical information. This will include a list of your current medications and previous procedures.
- Bring your wife or medical partner’s records. This particularly includes her infertility workup or therapies.
This history may go on all your childhood. The doctor might inquire about any surgeries or illnesses you may have had as a youngster or even as a baby.
Many guys have had surgery as children that their parents were unaware of. Because of that, it’s worth asking your parents if you had anything done as a child.
It’s also a good idea to ask your parents if there’s a family history of fertility disorders. This is because a few of these issues may be handed down from generation to generation.
Your doctor may inquire about all of your medications as well as your substance abuse histories like your drinking and smoking habits.
This includes drug-taking habits as well. You should always tell your doctor if you’re using or have used testosterone products or anabolic steroids.
The term semen analysis is often known as a sperm count test. This is because it examines a man’s sperm for health and viability.
Also, the doctors use the same to determine if a man has a low sperm count.
Semen is the fluid generated after ejaculation that contains sperm. It also includes other sugar and protein components.
A sperm analysis evaluates three critical aspects of sperm health:
- the quantity of sperm
- the sperm’s appearance
- sperm motility
Urinalysis is usually performed by experienced doctors in a laboratory.
It might help your doctor to know about problems related to the quality of your urine.
You need to drink plenty of water before your test so you may provide an appropriate urine sample.
Excessive water consumption, on the other hand, may result in erroneous results.
On the day when you will be having the test, one should only need one or two extra glasses of liquids.
This might include juice or milk if your diet allows it. For the test, you do not need to fast or adjust your diet.
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that affect a range of processes including mood, physical development, and reproduction.
Hormones are found in the bodies of people of all sexes.
Hormone testing frequently focuses on hormones that affect menopause, fertility, puberty, and other health issues that are more common in this population.
Hormone testing may be utilized for a variety of reasons.
Hormone testing may be used to follow menopause, confirm pregnancy, detect hormone imbalances and figure out what’s wrong with your reproductive system.
Hormone testing is most commonly requested when a patient exhibits symptoms that point to a hormonal imbalance.
Hormone testing may also be recommended if you’ve had health problems. This could be recommended due to hormone abnormalities in the past.
People who are having medical therapy to change their hormone levels may be subjected to different things like ongoing hormone tests to track their progress.
If you see any indicators of a hormone imbalance or have other concerns about your hormone levels, you should consult a doctor.
A doctor may assist you in determining whether hormone testing is necessary and which tests to do.
Anti-Sperm Antibodies Testing
Antisperm antibody testing is commonly known as ASAB testing. It is one of the numerous ways specialists assist patients to figure out why they’re having trouble getting pregnant.
Antisperm antibodies may prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. Therefore, this testing is very crucial.
If these antibodies are discovered during infertility testing, fertility professionals may typically help patients overcome this problem.
This may be achieved by adding particular solutions to the semen sample collecting process.
There are two types of ASAB testing. Direct ASAB testing and indirect ASAB testing are the two procedures for detecting anti-sperm antibodies.
Direct ASAB testing
Antisperm antibodies in a man’s sperm are determined via a direct ASAB test.
To guarantee accurate findings, doctors recommend that men refrain from ejaculating for three to six days before the test.
Men may provide the sperm sample for the test either at our clinic or at home. The man may have access to a private space when submitting the sample at the clinic.
For collecting the sample, a sterile container is usually provided.
If the man wishes to collect the sample at home, he must obtain a sterile container from the fertility clinic.
After that, he has one hour to deliver the sample to the lab. He’ll also have to complete a brief form for the lab.
Indirect ASAB testing
Blood is collected from the male or female patient for indirect ASAB testing.
Sometimes both need to submit their blood samples. The serum is then separated from the blood and incubated with donor sperm by a lab professional.
Antisperm antibodies bind to donor sperm with anti-sperm antibodies in the blood. This usually results in a positive test result.
A testicular biopsy involves taking a small sample of testicular tissue. After that, it is examined under a microscope for any signs of disease or pathology in the testes.
In males, the testes are a pair of ovoid glandular organs. It is located between the upper thighs in the scrotum.
The testes are important organs of the male reproductive system.
They are important because they produce the male hormone testosterone and sperms.
A testicular biopsy may be carried out in one of two methods.
Percutaneous testicular biopsy
Stitches or incisions are not required for percutaneous biopsy. A needle is introduced into the testis through the scrotal skin.
After that tissues are extracted into a syringe attached to the needle. Because of the procedure, is often known as fine needle biopsy.
Open surgical biopsy
An open surgical biopsy entails making a surgical incision in the scrotal skin. It then extracts a sample of testicular tissue.
After that, it stitches or sutures the incision together.
A genetic test is a sort of medical examination that looks for alterations in proteins, chromosomes, or genes.
A genetic test’s results may confirm or rule out a suspected genetic problem. It also determines a person’s risk of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.
There are currently about 80,000 genetic tests in use. Also, more and more are being developed.
The purpose of genetic testing is to look for alterations in:
Gene testing looks at DNA sequences to see whether there are any changes in genes.
It looks for changes that could lead to or raise the risk of a genetic disorder. Gene tests may be narrow or broad in scope.
It examines a single DNA building block, one or more genes, or the entire genome of a person. This is known as the genome.
Chromosomal genetic tests look at full chromosomes or long stretches of DNA.
This is done to check if any major genetic mutations cause a genetic problem. It includes an extra copy of a chromosome.
Biochemical genetic tests look at the number of proteins or enzymes in the body.
Also, anomalies in either may suggest DNA mutations that lead to a genetic illness.
If all of your tests have come back normal, your doctor may refer to you as having idiopathic infertility.
Essentially, this means that there is currently no way to determine the cause of your infertility. Female infertility could be the reason for not being able to conceive.
It certainly won’t make your irritation and pain go away. But you should know that you’re not alone. Idiopathic infertility is a very prevalent infertility diagnosis. This goes for both genders.
You may need to tap into reserves you didn’t realize you had. This may depend mainly on your diagnosis. However, there are numerous medically assisted pregnancy possibilities.
Also, keep in mind that many male infertility diagnoses are treatable. So, after discussing with your doctor, you could try these methods to improve your sperm count.
At the same time, you could consult with a nutritionist who might guide you in terms of daily food changes that might enhance your fertility.
Also, if you are a smoker or a heavy drinker, you might want to reduce those two things gradually.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed researches, academic and medical institution studies.
- Stephen W. Leslie; Larry E. Siref; Taylor L. Soon-Sutton; Moien AB Khan. Male Infertility. Last Update: February 14, 2022. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562258/.
- Meera Sunder; Stephen W. Leslie. Semen Analysis. Last Update: October 30, 2021. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK564369/.
- Urinalysis. Last updated May 5, 2016. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/urinalysis.html
- Hormone Testing – Indications and Appropriate Use. Effective Date: May 25, 2016. Available from: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/bc-guidelines/special-endocrine-testing.
- Xiaobin Wei, Zhouxin Han, Biqiong Ren, et al. Quantification of anti-sperm antibody and soluble MICA/MICB levels in the serum of infertile people of the Li ethnic group in China. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015; 8(10): 19274–19281. Published online 2015 Oct 15.
- Gert R Dohle, Saad Elzanaty, Niels J van Casteren. Testicular biopsy: clinical practice and interpretation. Asian J Androl. 2012 Jan; 14(1): 88–93. Published online 2011 Dec 12. doi: 10.1038/aja.2011.57
- Office of Science (OS), Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health. Genetic Testing. Page last reviewed: March 23, 2020. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/gtesting/genetic_testing.htm
- This article contains material for informational purposes only.
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- About the Author
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Michael has been in the male wellness industry for 25+ years. Before joining Working For Health as a full-time male wellness journalist, he contributed to multiple online portals in the male wellness field. Before that, he has been an assistant to several sexologists.