Male Fertility Test
Definition - What does Male Fertility Test mean?
Male fertility tests are tests that can be done at home or at a specialized laboratory that are aimed at evaluation of the fertility of a man. Testing for male fertility is an important step in the assessment of a couple for infertility. A semen analysis is the easiest and the most widely performed initial test in male fertility testing. Additional testing may be required based on the semen analysis results for a thorough evaluation.
FertilitySmarts explains Male Fertility Test
A semen analysis involves examining a sample of semen under a microscope. It tests for the number of sperm cells that are present in a milliliter of semen along with their shape, size, movements and other important characteristics of the seminal fluid. Abnormalities detected in a semen analysis may indicate a male related cause of infertility.
Although less accurate, simple semen analysis tests that can be used at home are also available. These are test kits, similar to pregnancy tests women use to confirm pregnancy. After dropping a few drops of semen to the kit, it can indicate if the sperm count in the semen is normal or low. It is recommended that these tests are always confirmed by doing a full semen analysis at a laboratory.
In addition to the analysis of sperm, some other tests that are helpful in evaluating male fertility include,
- Hormone levels in blood - mainly testosterone level, which is the primary hormone involved in the reproductive function in men.
- Genetic testing - genetic composition of the individual determines the overall reproductive function of an individual
- Sperm agglutination testing - tests for the presence of antibodies against sperm that can cause sperm cells to clump together
- Sperm penetration tests - assess the ability of the sperm to penetrate the outer wall of an egg to fertilize it
- Ultrasound scanning - to evaluate the organs of the male reductive system
- Vasography - to assess the openness of the tubes that carry semen from the testes to the penis
- Testicular biopsy - tests the status of sperm production in the testes.
If the presence of male factor infertility is confirmed, treatment can be aimed at correcting or optimizing the issue. Similarly, excluding male-related factors allows the clinicians to focus on the other partner to evaluate the underlying cause of infertility with more sophisticated tests.