We know this sounds obvious, but: it takes two to make a baby. So, if you’re worried about taking too long to conceive, it’s important that both you and your partner undergo a fertility evaluation. While women are more likely to seek help, male factor issues are actually identified in up to 50% of infertility cases. In this article, we’ll go over the steps in a male fertility evaluation so you can go into that appointment prepared and knowing what to ask and expect.
Steps in a Male Fertility Evaluation
A male fertility workup is carried out by an expert in male fertility and is a completely painless process. You will be asked to refrain from ejaculation two to five days before your visit and to bring all your medical records, including a list of previous surgeries and the medications you’re currently on. Ideally, you and your partner attend this appointment together. The doctor may also ask to see your partner’s medical records, including any information on fertility workups or treatment (if any).
⦁ Medical History Review
Your doctor will go over your medical history and ask you questions about your health, including any surgeries you may have had when younger. They will also ask you general lifestyle questions, including if you smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, or if you’ve ever taken any testosterone products.
⦁ Physical Examination
The physical part of the evaluation includes a general examination, focusing especially on your genital area. Some doctors also perform a prostate exam.
⦁ Semen Analysis
A semen analysis shows if there are any issues with sperm production or sperm quality. You will be provided with a sterile specimen cup and asked to collect a sample via masturbation in the clinic’s ‘collection room’. Some clinics provide the option of collecting the sample at home and taking it to the office within an hour. It can, admittedly, be quite an unnerving experience, especially knowing you have a ‘deadline’ for producing a sample. With Yo Sperm Test you can carry out this part of the process when you’re comfortable, and in the comfort of your own home. Yo measures your motile sperm concentration and reports a Yo Quality Score. It also allows you to record your live sperm video so that it’s easy to share with your fertility doctor.
⦁ Hormone Blood Testing
The level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), total testosterone, and estradiol (E2) in your blood can further help determine your fertility status.
Your doctor may also order a chlamydia test, as it can affect fertility. If so, you will be asked to produce a urine sample.
A male fertility evaluation offers important insight into the factors that can be optimized to improve your chances of conceiving. Your doctor will outline a way forward and this can include lifestyle or diet changes, surgery, and/or other family-building treatment options, such as IUI or IVF, to give you the best chance to conceive. Good luck!