Somewhere around 15-25% of couples have difficulty conceiving. Culturally, fertility issues rest on the woman’s shoulders. But 40-50% of the time, the issue stems from the man. Many unfortunately feel as though an assessment of their fertility is akin to an attack on their masculinity. In truth, male infertility is a medical problem. What’s more, there are many male fertility issues that are very well understood.
Two different types of semen analysis are required to begin hunting down the issue, should there be one. This can tell what the sperm concentration is, what is known as sperm count. It can also tell the features of sperm and if these lend toward fertilization or away from it.
Morphology or the size and shape of sperm—particularly the head, is really important. Can they swim with powerful strokes for an extended periods of time? This is known as motility. A blockage somewhere along the line may also be causing an issue.
There are still aspects of male fertility that remain a mystery. The male reproductive system has proven far more complex than anyone imagined. Some men who are marginally subfertile can actually cause pregnancy to occur, while other men who seem perfectly fertile somehow have difficulty.
Still, there are lots of diagnostic tests that can be run to determine what is happening. If the semen analysis strays from the norm, additional diagnostic processes may be required. A vital stating test, to see how many sperm are alive in a sample, may be warranted. An antisperm antibodies test may be conducted to see if any antibodies are attaching to the sperm, and limiting their movement.
And aperoxidase staining and semen culture tests may be run to see if there is any infection or inflammation affecting the man’s fertility. There are so many different causes for male infertility that it can take some time to locate what the issue is and recommend a treatment or therapy to overcome it.
Any couple who has been trying for more than 12 months without success should each see a specialist and begin investigating where the problem may stem.