For approximately 1/3 of couples that have a fertility problem, the complication stems from male factor infertility.
An assessment of male infertility generally involves a complete physical exam with a review of the patient’s full medical history, a semen analysis, and sometimes hormonal evaluations. In order to get an accurate assessment, the semen analysis or hormonal tests may need to be done as many as three or more times, over a period of two or three weeks. This is because normal fluctuations can occur that may skew results and lead to an inaccurate diagnosis if only one sample is taken.
During the physical examination, the genitals will be examined for signs of swelling, tenderness, or abnormalities.
The doctor will also assess the patient’s overall health and discuss personal and family medical history. It is extremely important to be honest and thorough during this discussion in order to be sure that any and all potential causes of infertility are identified.
The semen analysis will address the volume of ejaculate, concentration (number) of sperm cells, and the level of normal sperm motility (movement) and morphology (shape). The information gathered during this analysis will supply important clues as to the degree and source of male infertility problems.