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When Infertility Strikes – Making it Through
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Evaluation of Female Infertility

Evaluation of Male Infertility

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Current Course: When Infertility Strikes – Making it Through

evaluation-of-male-infertilityWhen couples are evaluated for infertility, the cause is considered to be a “male factor” in about a quarter of the cases. Men need to be evaluated in the course of an infertility workup.

An infertility evaluation can be done by your regular doctor – a family practitioner or internist – or a specialist, such as a urologist or a reproductive medicine specialist.

The first thing a doctor will do is take a thorough history. If you are being evaluated for infertility, you may want to talk to your doctor without your partner present. There may be things you do not want to talk about in front of her.

The doctor will be looking for a number of things in your medical history. These include:

  • Any abnormality in growth and development, especially genital development at puberty
  • A history of childhood infectious diseases, especially mumps, since mumps can involve the testicles
  • Any history of trauma to the testicles
  • Any previous sexually transmitted diseases, discharge from the urethra, or burning with urination
  • Any serious medical illness, past or present
  • Surgery involving the urinary tract or genitals
  • Recent high fever
  • All current medication, since some can decrease fertility, and others can interfere with erections and/or ejaculation
  • Any exposure to toxins, for example, at work
  • Substance use or abuse, including cigarettes and alcohol

The doctor will also ask you about your sexual practices, to make sure that you are not doing anything that can prevent conception. He or she will want to know if you have any problems with intercourse including erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. He or she will want to know if you have ever fathered a child in the past with another partner.

The doctor will do a physical examination. In addition to making sure you are generally healthy and appear to have normal amounts of male hormone, the doctor will be checking your testicles and attached vas deferens for any obvious abnormalities, checking for other scrotal masses like hernias, and checking your prostate and urethra for any evidence of infection.

A semen analysis is very important; usually two are done. Semen is examined to measure sperm concentration (numbers of sperm), the appearance of the sperm, and the way the sperm moves.

Other laboratory testing will depend on your history and physical examination, as well as semen analysis. Cultures can be taken if infection is suspected. An analysis of urine may be done. Blood count, hormone levels, and liver and kidney function tests may be done. There are ways to physically evaluate parts of the reproductive system with ultrasound and other tests if necessary.

The semen test is often the most important part of the evaluation, so you need to make sure you have your test done at a good laboratory. Ask your doctor if he or she has been satisfied with the results of the lab they use.

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When all of the information is collected, the doctor should be able to tell you if you have a specific problem that is causing you and your partner not to conceive. There are treatments for many of the different problems.

What do you think?

Evaluation of Male Infertility

Tell us what you think!

24 comments

  1. Brittany says:

    I’m happy for no problems so far

  2. Christina says:

    I am glade i didnt go through that at all

  3. joyce says:

    I am blessed that we didn’t have to go through this.

  4. amelia says:

    good info but happy i didnt have to go through this

  5. Marilyn says:

    I’m glad we didn’t have to go through this, but had we, I wouldn’t want a child with someone who kept such important things a secret!

  6. life says:

    good information i just hope we dont have to go thru this. glad to know males have a good part in this too just as females 50/50

  7. can says:

    Both parties always need to be involved

  8. monette3 says:

    Good information, but I hate that it advices them to talk to the doctor without their partner. I would never want to have a baby with someone who kept secrets about the things listed in this article.

  9. DANIYAH says:

    I KNOW THAT EVERY GUY WOULD WANT TO HAVE A FAMILY SOME DAY.. THATS SAD TO KNOW THAT YOU CANT HAVE A CHILD THATS CREATED BY YOU..

  10. RAQUEL says:

    I feel bad for the individuals that have to go threw all this to have a child.

  11. Bianca Reid says:

    This seems like it’s hard to talk about. it’s depends on the guy and if he’s comfortable or not.

  12. Julie says:

    I am so thankful that we did not have to go through this.

  13. Debbie says:

    Great Information…

  14. Rosie2day says:

    Wow, glad we didn’t have to deal with this.

  15. NiñaSolano says:

    good info. thank you

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