What is Male Infertility and How to Diagnose it?


I would like to take a few moments to talk with you about male infertility. In this article, I’m going to talk to you about the causes of infertility, the evaluation of infertility, and what treatment options are available for male infertility.

Infertility is the inability to procreate touches at heart and the emotion of most individuals. It can end up causing loss of virility, and if it lasts long enough in the couple’s very interested in having a child, it can result in depression of both a man and a woman. Nearly six million couples in the United States have a problem with infertility, and 15-30% of all couples suffer from infertility. Interestingly enough 35-40% at the time the problem resides within the male.

The causes of infertility can be something you were born with; it can be something acquired along the way, it can be due to environmental toxins, or can be due to various disease processes. The evaluation for male infertility is usually conducted by a urologist, who has an interest in male reproduction. It usually consists of a careful history, a physical examination, and then a few laboratory tests, namely a semen analysis.

The doctor will be asking you about your history, have you had a history of months that have affected your testicles, have you had prior testicular trauma, or have you had a testicular tumor resulting in the removal of one of the testicles. Also, he will ask you about your alcohol and tobacco consumption, whether you have used anabolic steroids for bodybuilding, how frequently do you use hot tubs, and also the type of underwear that you use.


You’ll also be clear about various medications that you use on a regular basis, and the doctor will want to know how long you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child. You also will be informed about the timing of intercourse, and the doctor will want to know if you understand when ovulation takes place, and you are having sex around the time of ovulation. He will also ask you about your use of lubrication, as lubrication can potentially result in damaging the sperm and causing the death of the sperm, making infertility difficult or impossible. It is also important to know whether you’ve had a recent febrile illness because any illness, even an upper respiratory tract infection, associated with the fever can impact male fertility.

The physical examination consists of a careful study of the testicles looking at the testicles for their size, inconsistency. The scrotum is examined for a varicocele, which is a dilated vein along the testicle that can impact or decrease the sperm count and movement. You will also have a digital rectal exam, checking the prostate. Other tests that may be ordered are a vasogram, which checks vas deferens to make sure that there are no blockages or obstruction of the vas, you may even have a testicular biopsy, and if there is a family history of infertility in the man, then a testicle biopsy may be performed as well as genetic testing.

Read more information about male infertility on Wikipedia.