All about Male Fertility Tests
When people talk about fertility and infertility, many still assume that it is just a problem of women. As a matter of fact, in recent years, women have always been the center of discussion about fertility issues. However, half of the cases of infertility out there are caused by men. How do we know if a man is infertile? What are the causes of male infertility? Are there tests which can be done to assess the fertility of a man? Here are some information that could help you in understanding male fertility.
Male infertility is the inability of conceiving after a year or more of unprotected sexual intercourse. Since most couples are usually able to conceive within this timeframe, provided that they both do not have fertility problems, physicians advise those that are unable to do so to take some tests to identify and fertility issues. Today, there are reliable and accurate fertility tests that are available for both men and women to take.
For males, infertility is usually caused by any number of factors, including hormone disorders, reproductive anatomy trauma, illness as well as low sperm count. Here are the male fertility tests available.
1. Sperm Count Test
This is usually the first test that the physician would recommend if a couple is having a hard time conceiving and the male is suspected to be the one who is infertile. Through the results from a sperm count test, a urologist would be able to easily identify if the man has a low sperm count, making him infertile.
A sperm count test basically measures the approximate amount of sperm that is found in a unit volume of semen. Ideally, there should be about 20 to 150 million sperm in a unit of semen. After taking the test, the urologist would also be examining the shape of the sperm cells, their motility, their PH balance as well as other things to give an accurate assessment.
2. Anti-Sperm Antibody Test
Antibodies are essentially the proteins which can be found in the blood or in other bodily fluids. The body’s immune system makes use of antibodies to identify and neutralize foreign objects like viruses or bacteria. They act as soldiers which protect the body from foreign invaders. However, there are some men who have abnormal antibodies so rather than protecting the territory, they attack the good guys, as well. In this case, they attack the sperm cells, giving the sperm a hard time to reach the egg, thereby preventing fertilization from taking place. Men can take the anti-sperm antibody test to determine if they have abnormal antibodies in their semen, so that the problem can be corrected.
3. Hormone Evaluation
This test evaluates the levels of the male hormone, testosterone. The male hormone is also important in fertility as it controls many factors such as the sexual functioning of the body.
4. Physical Examination
Aside from the male fertility laboratory tests that men can take, the physical examination conducted by the urologist is also necessary. During a physical examination, the urologist would take note of the medical history of the male. He would also evaluate the general appearance of the various organ systems, including the sex organs.
These are just some of the male fertility tests available today. If you have been trying to conceive for the past year or more, and have been unsuccessful, it would be good to do some research as to what steps you need to take to improve your chances. It is also advisable to pay your physician a visit to be informed of what male fertility tests you can take, so that any fertility problem can be corrected.
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