Diagnosis, Testing & Analysis
Male Fertility Tests and Diagnosis
Male infertility tests (male fertility tests) provide an invaluable opportunity to address concerns about a male's ability to father a child. There are a variety of tests such as genetic testing and semen analysis that can be performed to determine fertility. The tests are painless and only take a few minutes, although it will take a week or two to receive results from the laboratory.
While a great test results is good news, unfortunately it is not proof of fertility. Marginal or poor test results combined with the analysis of other information will indicate to Dr. Bastuba what treatments are appropriate. Depending on the results, further testing may be necessary to determine the condition of the sperm or other male fertility issue. Take our online male fertility test to test your level of fertility.
Types of Male Fertility Tests
There are six types of examinations and tests a doctor will use to reach a male infertility diagnosis.
Male Fertility Physical Exam
The first step in evaluating male factor infertility involves a consultation with your doctor. During this visit, your doctor will take your general medical history, evaluates your lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise routines, and perform a physical exam. It is essential to answer all questions honestly so that your doctor can make a proper diagnosis and decide which male infertility tests need to be performed.
Semen Analysis (Sperm Test)
A semen analysis is typically the first test prescribed to evaluate male factor infertility. Semen analysis can reveal potential causes of male infertility such as low sperm count and production, irregularly shaped sperm, discover a lack of sperm in the ejaculate, and much more.
Testicular mapping is a non-surgical technique developed to detect sperm in the testicles of men who have poor sperm production (non-obstructive azoospermia).
If your semen analysis shows no sperm, a testicular biopsy can be done to evaluate whether there is sperm in the testicles. A testicular biopsy involves taking a small sample from the testicles under local anesthesia. This helps diagnose whether the lack of sperm is caused by a blockage or low sperm production.
Genetic factors can play a role in fertility by affecting sperm quality and quantity. For example, severe male factor infertility can be caused by a condition called Klinefelter Syndrome, which is caused by an extra X chromosome. Some men with Klinefelter Syndrome can father a child through IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Another genetic disorder that causes male factor infertility is a mutation in the gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis. These men lack the tube that carries sperm from testicles to penis. In this case, sperm can be collected from the testicles and used to fertilize an egg through IVF. Genetic testing for infertility is done to test for these issues.
Anti-Sperm Antibody Tests
This test evaluates whether your body produces antibodies that bind sperm, affecting its motility and/or viability. High levels of anti-sperm antibodies can make it difficult to conceive a child via normal intercourse.