Has your partner been unable to get pregnant following a year of unprotected sex? If so, then you or she may be suffering from infertility. If you’re a man and your partner is unable to conceive, then your doctor may advise you to see a urologist for a male fertility evaluation. Here is what you can expect from this process:
To begin the evaluation, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Then, he may ask you about any surgeries that you have had, if you exercise and how much, if you take any medications, and whether you take recreational drugs or smoke. Your doctor may also talk to you about your sex life and ask whether or not you’ve ever had any STDs.
During your appointment, your doctor may request a semen sample to help determine if you are dealing with male infertility. This sample will be tested by trained experts who measure sperm count and examine the sperm’s characteristics, such as their movement and shape. In simple terms, men who have high amounts of normal-shaped sperm have higher fertility. However, having low levels of sperm or abnormal sperm in your semen does not necessarily mean that you’re infertile. Your doctor may advise a second semen analysis to confirm the results of the first.
Some of your body’s hormones are responsible for making sperm, so your doctor may use a hormone evaluation to test their levels. While hormone imbalances can cause infertility, they are not the primary culprit in most cases. Also, genetic testing is sometimes performed to look for reasons why you may have sperm problems.
There are a number of physical issues that may cause you to have fertility problems. Your doctor may examine you for a sperm blockage, retrograde ejaculation, a missing vas deferens, and anti-sperm antibodies.