Too Embarrassed for Help
If a couple suspects that they may have fertility issues, it is important to get tested by a professional. While most couples will certainly have the woman tested, they don't always recognize that the problems may actually be with the man. Men are embarrassed by the idea of fertility issues, often, as they feel that fertility issues reflect on their virility and manhood. This is simply not the case.
It is very important to allay the man's fears about fertility issues and about getting tested. By learning more about this process, men should have some of their fears alleviated and it should make testing more likely to be done.
Going for Testing
The first step in looking into fertility issues is to make an appointment with the family doctor. The doctor will ask questions about your past and your attempts to conceive a child. You'll explain to the doctor how long you've been trying to conceive and what, if any, aids you've used to do so. At this point, the doctor will order a routine semen analysis to check the quality and quantity of the sperm. You'll need to provide a sample at the doctor's office. They will give you a cup and a quiet location to do so. While you may feel embarrassed going through this step, the doctor isn't embarrassed at all. This is a normal part of the testing procedure, and you should keep this in mind when going through it.
Should your first round of tests come back negative, the doctor will probably order one more set of tests to rule out false negative results. If you have two normal tests, this generally shows that you don't have sperm problems or male fertility issues. However, if you get back a positive test, or something looks unusual to the doctor, he may order more tests and may send you to a fertility specialist.
Problem with Semen
Should the doctor find that you do have a problem with your semen, this problem may be one of many things. The analysis may find Azoospermia, where there is no sperm production at all. It might find Oligiospermia, where a little bit of sperm is produced. It may indicate sperm motility, where the sperm isn't moving normally and won't move fast enough to fertilize the egg. It might also show sperm morphology, indicating that something in the sperm's form or structure is causing the infertility. These problems may be the issue that you are having with conceiving - or, they may be an indicator of larger underlying problems. The doctor or fertility specialist will be able to identify which of these situations they believe you have.
If you've found that you do have male fertility issues, and you've started seeing a fertility specialist, the doctor will offer many suggestions to correct the problem. First, he will focus on environmental factors and lifestyle issues. He may suggest that you stop smoking, change your eating habits, stop bike riding, and do other things to increase your fertility. If you have a low sperm count, the doctor may recommend pacing your sexual activity to build up the sperm. He may also give you vitamin supplements to increase sperm count.
Fertility issues can only be dealt with by seeking out help. One of the most important things is to get over any embarrassment and to understand that fertility is not tied to manliness in any way. By seeking the help that you need, you should, hopefully, be bouncing a beautiful baby on your knee sometime in the future. Good luck!