Individuals and couples may have concerns about their fertility status or may want to optimise their fertility for when the time comes to start a family.
For some patients, they look to get fertility screening prior to trying to conceive to try to determine whether there may or may not be any complications when the time comes. The reason for this is because any fertility issues could be identified earlier, issues that would normally only have been discovered on investigation, perhaps after several years of trying to conceive, thus allowing earlier action and treatment.
These are the usual checkpoints for fertility screening:
- Medical History: Overview of your medical, surgical and family history to assess any factor that may impact on fertility
- Lifestyle Advice: Assessment of your lifestyle factors and advice on any modifications that may be of benefit
- Semen Analysis: Assessment of a semen sample to look at sperm number, movement and structure.
- Summary Report: You will receive copies of the test results as well as a detailed explanation of their meaning and any recommendations.
Male fertility screening will help you to understand your fertility status. The semen is analysed and with the results, you will understand your fertility status and ability to conceive.
The most common causes of male infertility are associated with sperm abnormalities, therefore, initial investigations for the male include a semen analysis which examines the density (sperm count), morphology (shape) and mobility of sperm. A normal sperm count would be measured at around 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen.
What is analysed
The following parameters will be examined in a semen analysis:
- The number of sperm present within the ejaculate (the sperm count)
- The number of sperm that are moving (mobility)
- The number of sperm that are normally formed (morphology)
- Whether or not there are anti-sperm antibodies present (in cases of poor sperm parameters)
- Whether there are any observable infections present within the sample
Depending on your diagnosis, you may find that you need to draw on reserves that you never knew you had and there are a variety of ways to be able to father a child through advances in fertility treatment.
Many male infertility diagnoses can be successfully treated.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.