Assisted reproduction,  Infertility,  Male infertility

Male Infertility. What tests you should take?

We tend to think that when there is a problem of infertility it is mostly for a female factor. But in fact, the reality is much more complex. Very often the fertility problems are rooted in the male partner or are mix of both partners factors.

Unfortunately, nowadays, male infertility is still a taboo. Men who have infertility or reproductive problems often suffer as much as their female partners, but they do not externalize or share their feelings and concerns, and that only makes it harder for them to be open to find a solution.

The truth is that infertility is not something we should be ashamed.

I know it is quite hard to process when you are into it, but we should not feel guilty for suffering it.

During our lives all of us will have to face hard problems and, in our case, one of this hard situations has been to deal with fertility issues.

We don’t have to constantly ask ourselves why this happened to us. It’s useless.

I advice you to assume the situation as fast as possible (for some people takes a few days or weeks) and then start fighting to find a solution.

The truth is that no matter how bad the diagnosis is, the first things to consider when your seminogram is not ok are those first steps:

Repeat the seminogram in order to confirm the diagnosis

In our case the first seminogram that my husband took the result diagnosed a total azoospermia ( his sperm sample contained 0 sperm) ) and the second seminogram (and the third), only confirmed the first diagnosis.

But I know some cases that the result changed from the first to the second test. So retesting is the first step to know you have a clear diagnosis.

Reach an urologist

The urologist will be in charge to make the first studies about what is the reason (or reasons) why you are facing a male fertility problem. Surely as the first tests the urologist will ask for,  will be:

A Male Hormonal Analysis

Mainly the Thyroid stimulating hormone, Free T4, 17β estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, FSH, LH and Prolactine Hormone.

The hormonal analysis will show if exist a condition called Primary testicular Failure, when the testicles cannot produce sperm or male hormones, such as testosterone.

An X-ray of the testicles using Doppler technology

(a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel.) This test will determine if there is a possible testicles varicocele 

A seminal culture

in order to determine if there is any possible sperm infection.

Often after taking these three basic tests the same urologist will refer you to an andrologist to try to improve sperm quality or/and quantity of the pacient,

And finally, once you have your first urology tests, and especially for couples who need to prepare for a Fertility treatment, I recommend to take more specific male Genetic Tests in order to detect other possible genetic problems in sperm that could make difficult to conceive viable embryos.

In Barcelona there is an amazing center that takes these complete Genetic tests. The center is called CIMAB.

I do not know where you are based but I truly recommend to call this center no matter where you live.

Apart of being great experts on male fertility, they are one of the top research centers worldwide on male fertility and also they are extremely sincere on advising which are the best options for each couple.

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