Infertility affects 7.4 million couples in the US and approximately one third of the cases are attributed to men.
Fertilization is the process by which the male sperm and female ova, or gametes fuse. The sperm is responsible for exactly half of the genetic material contributing to the developing embryo. There are several male fertility tests available to assess the male partner to determine if he is contributing to the couples’ infertility struggle. We begin with the semen analysis, the standard test used for evaluation of the male partner, further analysis and diagnostic testing can be performed if abnormalities are found.
Types Of Male Fertility Test And Their Diagnostics:
Sperm function testing is used to determine if the sperm have the biologic capacity to perform the tasks necessary to reach and fertilize ova and ultimately result in a live birth. The semen analysis is the standard test for the evaluation of the male partner. The semen analysis includes assessment of the sperm concentration, motility (or activity of the sperm), and a determination of the percentage of normally shaped sperm. It is typically obtained by masturbation after 2 – 5 days of abstinence. The sample needs to be kept at room to body temperature and transported to the laboratory within one (1) hour. Results are usually available within 1 day.
If the semen analysis demonstrates a low sperm count then hormone blood tests may be ordered to try to determine the cause of the low count. Common hormones that may be ordered are FSH, LH, Prolactin, TSH and a testosterone level.
Depending on the results of the hormone testing, additional genetic testing may be requested. Certain genetic mutations (such as Y-microdeletions) or chromosomal abnormalities (such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, 47XXY) can cause a low sperm count. The genetic tests are performed on blood samples.
Infectious Disease Panel
Both male and female partners, in which body/fluids may be transferred through the laboratory, are required to have infectious disease screening. You may be screened for HIV, Hepatitus B and C, syphillis, human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
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