Identifying Male Infertility
4. Are there any underlying health issues that cause male infertility?
Like women, men can have abnormal thyroid or prolactin hormone levels, which can lead to impaired reproductive function. Luckily, these problems can be treated medically and fertility is often restored.
Toxins from chemotherapy or radiation therapy are another culprit of infertility; they can severely damage testicles. Dr. Esposito says that men often recover from this type of damage, but it may take a few years, and in some cases the damage is too severe. This is why doctors recommend that young men diagnosed with cancer bank sperm before undergoing chemo/radiation therapy.
To determine if an underlying health issue is the problem with your guy, his doctor will do a thorough medical history and can discuss additional issues that may be behind his infertility.
5. How is male infertility diagnosed?
Male infertility is usually diagnosed through a semen analysis, and for the most part abnormalities are associated with the sperm. The sample will be tested for volume of ejaculation, sperm concentration, sperm motility (how well sperm move), and sperm morphology (the size and shape of the sperm).
"There are many other tests out there but none that have been shown to correlate with male fertility as well as the standard semen analysis does," Dr. Esposito explains.