Male Fertility Tests
In the past, if a couple couldn't get pregnant, fertility testing would often focus solely on the woman's ability to reproduce. Indeed, there are some cultures in which this is still the case, probably because infertility in those cultures is so damaging to man's social status and his sense of masculinity. However, male infertility is a fact of life and, no matter how difficult this is for men to accept, it's nothing about which they should feel ashamed. Many men are unable to impregnate their partners. It's important that these men go for testing to determine the root cause of the problem.
That's why these pages are specially designed to help you understand the process of male fertility testing, and survive the experience with your relationship intact!
The semen analysis is probably the most common male fertility test. It looks at a man's sperm count (the concentration of sperm per milliliter of his semen); his sperm motility (the sperm cells' ability to propel themselves and penetrate an egg); and their morphology (their shape and structure). To take a semen analysis, a man will have to provide a semen sample.
Some men find this prospect intimidating and embarrassing, others don't worry about it in the slightest. It's important for women to be supportive and understanding at this time.
Malfunctioning sperm cells are not the only cause of male infertility. Physical examinations are an integral part of male fertility testing, so that a doctor can check if another problem is present. Through physical exams, a doctor can determine whether a man has smaller-than-average testes, suffers from impotence, or has twisted veins in his testicles (a condition called varicoceles). Very rarely, a man may be suffering from retrograde ejaculation, whereby his sperm cells are being redirected into his bladder when he orgasms.
Blood tests are another form of male fertility tests. These can help determine if the man is suffering, for example, from a genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, which can make men infertile. A number of other infertility-causing conditions can be diagnosed in this way too.
Accessing Male Testing
A man has reason to suspect that his fertility is reduced if he has been trying to get his partner pregnant for a year without success (although she too should go for fertility testing). The best place for a man to access fertility testing is by visiting his regular doctor, who will probably refer him to a fertility specialist. The costs of these tests and of appointments with a fertility specialist vary.
Testing His Emotions
Male fertility and male self-esteem are very closely linked. If his fertility is called into question, the chances are his pride won't be far behind. That's why some men need support and guidance while undergoing fertility testing, even if that support is takes a different form to the kind of emotional help you would offer to a woman in the same position.