Male infertility is the situation where reproductive problems have been found in the male. Reproduction is a simple and natural experience for most couples. However, for some couples it is very difficult to conceive. A man’s fertility generally relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If the number of sperms a man ejaculates is low or the sperm is of a poor quality, it will difficult for him to cause a pregnancy. Males born with hormonal problems or undescended testes can become infertile. Some men, who have both the testes but are not able to produce sperm, also suffer from infertility, Moreover, stress can cause decreased libido and the couple can end up in having infertility.
Some causes recognized of infertility in male are following:
- Low numbers and quality of sperm production.
- Obstruction of sperm transport
- Sexual problems
- Hormonal problems
- Sperm antibodies
Fertility Test for Men
In all cases of infertility, one-third of males are found infertile. Couples, who are wishing to have their own baby, also need to consult a doctor for treatment of infertility in the male partner. For treatment of male infertility, doctors diagnose patient using different fertility tests. Some important fertility tests for men are following:
- Semen Analysis: Semen analysis forms the basis of important decisions concerning appropriate treatment for male infertility. Semen analysis should be performed in a laboratory adhering to national quality control standards. Sperm is collected into a specimen jar and presented to a lab technician who examines the sperm under a microscope in order to evaluate the count, shape, appearance, and mobility of the sperm.
- Sperm Agglutination:Sperm agglutination refers to the percentage of sperm stuck together in the provided sample. Sperm can stick together at the head, tail or head-to-tail. Sperms are not supposed to stick together, they cannot swim that way. Sperms are supposed to be free moving, straight swimming with a healthy shape.
- Sperm Penetration Assay: A laboratory test utilizing hamster eggs to evaluate a sperm’s capability of penetrating the egg. This test is rarely used. The test is scored by calculation of the percentage of ova that are penetrated or the average number of sperm penetrations per ovum. The sperm penetration assay identifies those couples that will have a high likelihood of success with in-vitro fertilization.
- Vasography: An x-ray exam is used to determine if there is blockage or leakage of sperm in the vas deferens to avoid performing an extra operation, vasography is encouraged to be done at the time of correction of the obstruction.
- Ultrasonography: This assessment used to detect damage or blockages in the male reproductive tract, including the prostate, seminal vesicles, and ejaculatory ducts. It plays an important role for evaluation of pathologic conditions of the testes.
Acrosome Reaction: Laboratory test that helps to determine if sperm heads are able to go through the chemical changes necessary to dissolve an egg’s tough outer shell. The Acrosome Reaction is the reaction that occurs in the acrosome of the sperm as it approaches the egg.