If you are experiencing symptoms of male infertility, the first thing you should do is see a specialist, typically a reproductive endocrinologist or an urologist. After a physical examination, the specialist will probably order a semen analysis, which will check the quality and quantity of the sperm in the semen. He or she will want you to give the sample in the office, since it is important that the analysis take place as soon as possible. Please remember, as self-conscious as you might feel, a semen analysis is a commonplace test, and the results could save you months of worry and stress.
If the first semen analysis is normal, your doctor may order a second test to confirm the results. Two normal tests usually indicate that you do not have any significant infertility problems. If something in the results appears irregular, your doctor might order further tests to pinpoint the problem.
There are a number of potential problems that a semen analysis can detect. These include:
- Azoospermia (No sperm are produced, or the sperm aren’t appearing in the semen)
- Oligospermia (Few sperm are produced)
- Problems with sperm motility (If sperm aren’t moving normally, they are less likely to be capable of fertilizing an egg.)
- Problems with sperm morphology (Irregularities in the form and structure, or morphology, of the sperm may cause infertility.)
While one of these problems may be the direct reason that you and your partner cannot conceive, any of these complications may be caused by an underlying medical condition. Dr. Noel Peng may investigate a case of male factor infertility further by ordering blood and urine tests or other procedures.