Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected intercourse. For women who are older than 35, this time period drops to six months.
Approximately 15 percent of all couples are infertile. Up to 50 percent of these infertile couples will have a male factor component and 30 percent of couples will not be able to conceive solely because of a male factor. For this reason, if a couple is having trouble conceiving, it’s important to have both the woman and the man evaluated.
Tennessee Urology male sexual and reproductive health specialists recommend a complete evaluation for male patients, including a semen analysis, to identify the cause of a couples’ infertility. The evaluation is a critical component of solving the cause of the infertility and needs to be performed and managed by experienced physicians and a competent reproductive laboratory. Additionally, male hormone levels may influence sperm counts and should be evaluated by a male fertility specialist.
Every man who is having problems conceiving with his partner requires an evaluation, which includes:
- A complete history and physical examination
- Reproductive history of both male and female partners
- Screening semen analysis
- Blood work
- Exam to identify varicoceles, which are similar to varicose veins in the leg and are also a known cause of male infertility
- Possible advanced testing with ultrasound
If there are any abnormalities found on preliminary screening, your physician will discuss one of the many options that may be available to you and your partner.