What Can Testing Tell You About Male Factor Infertility?

What Can Testing Tell You About Male Factor Infertility?

About 15% of couples have difficulty achieving their first pregnancy, and the common misconception is the woman's infertility is the root cause. While the female partner tends to shoulder the blame for a couple's inability to conceive, infertility affects men just as equally.

In fact, about 1/3 of infertility cases is due to male factor infertility, another 1/3 to female infertility, and the last 1/3 is either unexplained or due to factors that combine both individuals. For this reason, it is vital that testing be performed on the man to determine if male factor infertility is the issue. There are 3 known scenarios that give rise to male infertility:

  1. The male might produce too few sperm that can actually fertilize the egg, also known as low sperm count
  2. Produced sperm might be misshapen and/or does not move properly
  3. The reproductive tract may be blocked, keeping the sperm out of the man's ejaculate

The first test typically performed is a semen analysis, which will tell the doctor if a man is producing enough sperm and if the sperm is moving properly and is shaped correctly.

Hormone levels are also of vital importance when trying to get a woman pregnant. If a man produces too little or too much hormones, not only can it affect a man's interest in sex, it can also affect his ability to produce viable sperm. A blood test can determine if a man's hormone levels are the right amount. Other tests to determine if male factor infertility is involved are karyotyping and cystic fibrosis test.

Contact Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists for more information on testing for male factor infertility.